The new Land Rover Defender has entered production at the marque’s Nitra plant in Slovakia. Cars will be reaching UK dealers in the spring, with the five-door 110 model coming first.
Land Rover’s Nitra factory has been a £1.19 billion investment for the company. The new 300,000 square-metre site and its 2,000 employees will be able to produce 150,000 Defenders a year at maximum capacity. That could increase in future, though, as the workforce expands to 2,800.
The plant is cleaner and more efficient than many in the world, too. New autonomous paint processes ensure quality control and reduced use of water with dry lime brush technology. Paint waste can also be reused.
Emission-free adhesive welding is used in the construction of the car, while a new autonomous pallet transport system increases speed by 30 percent. All packaging materials are recycled, and adhesive waste is used to generate energy.
Land Rover has dragged the Defender into the 21st century. It’s brought over-the-air software updates to JLR, a feature that has since expanded to the rest of its range.
Under the bonnet, the new Defender also features mild-hybrid systems. Independent suspension and a monocoque chassis should make it drive as well on-road as it does off-road.
The new Defender will be able to wade at depths of 900mm, and its short overhangs ensure impressive approach and departure angles.