Let me preface this with the disclaimer that I'm no motoring editor. My knowledge of automobiles span some hype EVs and that one time I test-drove a couple of Land Rovers in Seoul. I am, however, a fan of the Defender. With its boxy aesthetic yet smooth curves, the iconic silhouette is one any would recognise even if not a car expert. So there's understandably a level of excitement when the British brand announced a new one to be launched this year.

Defender. LAND ROVER

Defender OCTA

Slated to be "the toughest, most capable, and luxurious model in the line-up", the all-terrain luxury SUV will feature V8 Twin Turbo mild-hybrid petrol power. But what's a first for Defender is the 6D Dynamics air suspension.

The hydraulic interlinked technology essentially works on a pitch and roll control system. This enables the vehicle to maintain near-level stance whether during acceleration, braking and cornering on-road, while maximising independent wheel travel on demanding off-road surfaces.

Defender OCTA teaser. LAND ROVER

And if you're wondering about the name, it's taken from a diamond's octahedron shape; you know, diamonds being Earth's hardest, naturally occurring substance. This goes into a new encircled diamond visual designed for this flagship model, featured as a gloss black diamond within a machined and sandblasted titanium disc on each Signature Graphic panel.

But until we see the championing version, this high-performance rover is currently traversing the most exhaustive development regime in Defender history—across Sweden snow and Dubai desert, Nürburgring tarmac and Moab rock crawls.

Find more information on the Defender OCTA release here.

Amid all that's happening in the EV world (e.g. the two million Tesla recalls over autopilot issue, eerily echoed in Leave The World Behind), it's understandable that consumers aren't necessarily racing to the make purchases. But as a car that needs no introduction, and one notoriously satisfying to drive, the Range Rover might just be exception to the rule.

Fashioned by 75 years of tech expertise in off-road capability, every Range Rover—classic, Sport, Velar, Evoque—is currently already available as an electric hybrid. The all-electric though, is only set to arrive in 2024. Following the announcement just last week, JLR has now opened its waiting list to public ahead of the release.

Range Rover Electric design


In terms of performance and all-terrain capability, the model is based on the flagship V8. The goal is the most refined version, complete with unique active road noise cancellation configuration, sound design and level of cabin comfort. All that while wading through up to 850mm deep water. At least that is what's on paper now that physical prototype testing is underway.

Global on-road testing has commenced from Sweden to Dubai, in temperatures from -40C to +50C. Besides thermal derating, factors are mainly a) robustness of the electric drive system, including its front-end and underfloor, b) battery durability and c) chassis integrity.

Alongside design and engineering, the new electric luxury SUV will also be built in the UK. Batteries and EDUs will be constructed at JLR's new Electric Propulsion Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton for the very first time.

To throw in a little quote by JLR APac Managing Director Alistair Scott: “By joining the waiting list, enthusiasts and forward-thinkers alike can secure their place at the forefront of electric mobility. This is not just a reservation; it's a declaration of confidence in the future of transportation and a bold step towards a more sustainable tomorrow.”

Pre-order here