New Defender News

Carson G

Well-known member
TFL just posted this video; a few notes to keep in mind when watching:

- The Gladiator Rubicon is described in another build video. It’s twin-locked with a 2.5” Lift (maybe 2”, I’m not 100% sure) with at least 33” tires (Factory tires are 32”, I believe).
- The Defender in the video is a First Edition. It’s totally unlocked, and the only mods are a set of KO2s (Nothing fancy, same size as stock just better grip) and a set of lifting rods which, as you’ll hear in the video, “trick” the suspension into thinking it’s on-road height, when it’s actually lifted.


I’m pretty impressed with how well the Defender did. I know it’s just one video, but that Gladiator with all it’s bells and whistles is supposed to be the bees knees off road, and it’s being compared with a Defender that isn’t really properly set up, but the Defender walked up the hill with minimal fuss. Of course, the old Defender — Which is a 90, locked, on 36” tires — did far better, but that’s a highly built machine relative to the others and one would expect it to do so.

I also am curious about the lift rods - I understand what they do, but I don’t fully understand what elements determine how the Defender uses it’s TC system. The TC system seems so good that I wonder if ‘tricking’ it with lift rods may actually make it perform worse than if it’s just left alone — from what I can tell, the lifters make it ride at ‘off road‘ height all the time, but the same height and clearance could be achieved with a button push, right? Unless the lifters allow you to go to max off road height with the button, and then they add an additional bit of clearance? I don’t think that’s the case in this video but I don’t know, Does anyone with more experience with this kind of a mod/suspension system care to weigh in?
The Gladiator is on 35’s.
 

onemanarmy

Explorer
The Gladiator Rubicon is not a new Defender competitor and that video is dumb.

At best, a 4 door regular JL is a Defender competitor. The Rubicon package easily makes the JL better offroad in real tough spots.....that most will never encounter.

If you want a truck, you get a Gladiator or a tacoma or a ranger or blah blah

TFL videos are terrible.
 

ChasingOurTrunks

Active member
The Gladiator Rubicon is not a new Defender competitor and that video is dumb.

At best, a 4 door regular JL is a Defender competitor. The Rubicon package easily makes the JL better offroad in real tough spots.....that most will never encounter.

If you want a truck, you get a Gladiator or a tacoma or a ranger or blah blah

TFL videos are terrible.
interesting perspective, but I don’t think that’s quite accurate for all buyers. I agree with you that in the common market or for the “average” buyer, they may not be competitors, but for Overland travel (and many members of this community) I think they most certainly are competing against each other. I can only speak for myself, but I’ve considered both the Gladiator and the Defender for overlanding, comparing them against each other since they both overlap in the purpose and capability that I need them for — which is carrying capacity that will fit my family and my gear, and off-road ability to explore remote areas — and I imagine that other Overlanders with similar trip styles as mine who are looking for a rig would be unwise not to consider both platforms.

A wagon (i.e. JL) is actually further away from the Defender than the Gladiator is for my use case, because of it’s limitations on payload. In fact, it’s not even in the running for me. Again, I’m speaking for particular situation — a family with two adults, kid, pets, who want to do remote area travel, usually for extended periods (weeks or longer on the road). The JL just doesn’t do it for our situation, but the JT could. I imagine others have a similar needs as I do. For a weekend mountain toy that needs to do well in technical terrain for the fun of it, or for a solo traveller (or even a couple, so long as they go easy on the modifications) the Defender and the JL are a closer comparison, but for long-distance self supported expeditions, the Gladiator is a more suitable platform if a person needs more than 900-1300 lbs payload (Depending on the trim of the wagon, the payload can change a lot on Wranglers).

When TFL gets around to doing a ‘terrible’ video of the Defender versus the JL 4 door Rubicon I’ll share that too ;)

(Edit: Tone can be hard to read in text, so I wanted to clarify that I meant that last comment in good natured humour — I’ve been itching to see some non-Land Rover produced (or subsidized) content that actually compares the Defender to other 4x4s and they just happened to be one of the early ones; I happen to like some of the TFL stuff because I find it informative to see the rigs working and they typically focus on North America-available models. But even this video appeared to involve a JLR dealership, so it’s not 100% what I am hoping to see more of. Anyway — to each their own and I can appreciate that others might not like the TFL vids).
 
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mpinco

Expedition Leader
A trail previously run by 60's / 70's era International Scouts .......

LR added ETC in 93'? (Reverse ABS)
 
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ChasingOurTrunks

Active member
A trail previously run by 60's / 70's era International Scouts .......

LR added ETC in 93'? (Reverse ABS)
Sure - I’m not familiar with the area, so I don’t know how long it’s been open or what rigs can/can’t run it. On the video, it didn’t look like that hard of a section to me at all, so it was never a question about if the three rigs in the TFL video would be able to make it through - I was confident all would. I thought it was an interesting demonstration of relative ability, where the Defender appeared to hold its own despite being less well equipped in terms of tire size and lockers.
 

Carson G

Well-known member
A trail previously run by 60's / 70's era International Scouts .......

LR added ETC in 93'? (Reverse ABS)
Defender didn’t get ETC till 02’ and only on certain trim levels. Most Defenders didn’t have it till after 07’ IIRC. Then it seems like I remember reading that the 130’s didn’t get it till like 2013.
 

mpinco

Expedition Leader
Range Rover had ETC in 93'. ALL features are first intro'd on RR and moved into volume on Land Rover models.

Edit add: In the grand scheme Discovery and Defender are lesser models compared to Range Rover.
 
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DieselRanger

Well-known member
I also am curious about the lift rods - I understand what they do, but I don’t fully understand what elements determine how the Defender uses it’s TC system. The TC system seems so good that I wonder if ‘tricking’ it with lift rods may actually make it perform worse than if it’s just left alone — from what I can tell, the lifters make it ride at ‘off road‘ height all the time, but the same height and clearance could be achieved with a button push, right?
Lift rods just keep it 2" above normal ride height all the time - will not affect EAS lift above that height and doesn't interface with the terrain response system. The only effect to driving dynamics is a higher COG in normal driving. Huge negative is when you need to get into a parking garage with less than 7 foot height...you can't.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
I took the liberty of saving that video and trying to straighten it a bit, and even then, its’ pretty steep. Doubly impressive that this is on street tires. Full credit to someone named @tonyinthedale on Instagram for the original video:
Those sheep in the background feel much better knowing the Defender can back right up to where they may die. 🤠
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
I’m pretty impressed with how well the Defender did. I know it’s just one video, but that Gladiator with all it’s bells and whistles is supposed to be the bees knees off road, and it’s being compared with a Defender that isn’t really properly set up, but the Defender walked up the hill with minimal fuss. Of course, the old Defender — Which is a 90, locked, on 36” tires — did far better, but that’s a highly built machine relative to the others and one would expect it to do so.
Very impressive. The Gladiator had issues because of its wheelbase (137")...the Defender's is 119" and I'm willing to bet a little more ground clearance. The new 90 will have a 101" wheelbase and I can't wait to see it here again with the '94 90...
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Tfl testing trucks on marbles again. Nothing wrong with it, but it's a bit of luck.

They did demonstrate the dramatic difference between good line, bad line, with the Glad.
 
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