Originally Posted by Stallingrad
It was always going to be a massive design hurdle, how do you re-invent a niche dinosaur and still make money?
I think what they have delivered is what the market now demands, and while some may feel it is too close to other JLR products in time it may once again be seen as something special.
I just wish that JLR would make their cars reliable. 20 years ago I worked in the middle east, and they would never venture into the dessert in a LR, it was always Nissan patrol or Landcruiser. It appears that nothing has changed which is a disgrace.
They still make the original Patrol especially for the Middle East (not cheap comparitively). The new Patrol is bloated and used for delivering kids to school and queuing at the McDonalds drive through. When Toyota announced they were discontinuing the FJ, they bought up an additional year of production just for the Gulf region. The FJ is the most capable and suitable car for the desert. Lots of people have Jeeps of all models, they are great fun, very capable & you can make them your own. If you have loads of money, you can own a landcruiser for offroading, imense 4x4's & luxurious, but expensive. Litterally no one drives any Land Rover or Range Rover in the desert... it is a silly idea and it's not what they are best at. They are designed for the higway and getting out of at the hotel valet.
Pickups are also hugely popular in the Middle East... F150's, Hilux, Rams, Rangers, Old Style Patrols...
It's often commented on that when you watch the news, you will always see militants and armys in pickups with a big read 'Toyota' across the tail gate... theres a reason for that, they are incredibly capable.
The Old Defender is still popular for expedition and overlanding... because the parts are easily available across the Middle East, Africa & the rest of the world, but the only reason they would be taken into extreme offroad conditions would be for nostalgia... They are capable but others are just more capable.
The new defender is unlikely to fit the criteria of a modern army, unless just used for ferrying passengers on road.
- Some of the critera for traditional offroaders:
- Ladder Chassis or similar. Easy to weld, fix, change
- Flat body panels as much as possible. Easy to fix, weld, change
- Simple bumper with end caps. Change for different style where necessary, broken ends can be taken off, or replaced. Winches etc.
- Round headlights. Can be changed anywhere, by anyone, anywhere in the world (universal part). The ones I put on my Jeep JK were from Harley Davidson
- Small wheels, big tyres. Surface area is king. Note the new Dender has 20" wheels and low profile tyres... Not made to go off the N11
- Simple Access... I did allot of mods to my FJ & JK myself... wiring was relitively easy, as was access under floors etc. How would you wire a set of rooftop lights on the new defender & how would you fix additional buttons and switches to the dash?
- On body towing points. These should be chassis mounted, or you'll rip your bumper off. This is not for towing, but for removing a vehicle from deep mud or sand... this is done under massive force and resistance using kenetic ropes that produce massive energy... threaded tow points are not adviseable, nore are bumer mounted points, or you're liable to lose a bumper.
The new defender is a lifestyle choice, not an offroad vehicle.