Power & Performance
The Defender P400e is a big beast of a car with exceptional handling, power and performance. Paul Agnew takes it for a spin to find out more. Photography: Roger Moore
Life is about squeezing the juice out of the magic moments. Those fun opportunities – some planned, others unexpected – that make you smile and feel good about the world.
Like when someone invites you to take a spin in a special vehicle.
In this case a very, very special vehicle – the new, mind-blowing, hybrid variant of the iconic Land Rover Defender 4×4.
Gleaming in the spring sunshine, the Defender P400e was a joy to behold. Every head turned to take a closer look.
But looks can be deceptive, can’t they? Not in this case. From the moment you step inside to be enveloped by the sumptuous seating and overall sense of quality and space, you know that the next half-hour or so is going to be a real treat.
The drive is little short of superb and for a big beast of a car, the handling is exceptional.
So quiet too – like a lion on the prowl, you can move in electric silence knowing that power and performance is right there should you choose to call upon it.
The Defender P400e uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, mated up to an electric motor and 19.2kWh battery for a total output of 398bhp.
That electric assistance delivers a pokey 5.6 seconds within the standard 0-62mph timeframe. Land Rover claims 85.3 mpg as the best fuel economy figure and, as you might expect, the P400e is the model with the lowest emissions.
It is also one of the few PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) with integrated fast charging. This allows for the battery to be topped up to 80 per cent in as little half an hour.
Impressive. But impressive is what this all-wheel drive car is all about.
In glossy Santorini Black with privacy glass, sliding panoramic roof, signature graphic, black roof rails, LED headlights, auto high-beam assist and electrically deployable tow bar, it looks every inch a modern Land Rover, a car for the time.
Not forgetting heated windscreen, heated electric power fold door mirrors, front fog lights, automatic headlight levelling, LED tail lights, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), emergency brake assist, heated rear window with timer, rain sensing wipers, satin silver front and rear skid pan, grille bar and badging.
As for capability and dynamics, it offers All-Wheel Drive, eight-speed automatic transmission, electronic air suspension, power-assisted steering, hill launch assist and descent control and terrain response.
For further driver assistance count on 3D surround camera, lane keep and blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control, 360⁰ parking aid, rear traffic monitor, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiter.
Fancy a peep inside? The luxury look and feel continues with Ebony Windsor leather and Robustec seats, 14-way heated and cooled electric memory front seats with four-way manual headrests, 40:20:40 folding rear seats with centre armrest, Ebony Morzine headlining, leather steering wheel (heated of course), electrically adjustable steering column and leather gearshift.
You’ll also find configurable cabin lighting, two-zone climate control, electric cabin pre-conditioning, rear centre headrest, footwell lights, rear reading lights, twin front cupholders, unique X-Dynamic seat tab and treadplate – plus infotainment of the highest order.
There’s a Meridian sound system, interactive driver display, 11.4” touchscreen, DAB radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Pivi Pro with connected navigation and online pack with data plan, 12V power socket in loadspace and a trip computer.
For towing and safety, let’s just say (for the purposes of editorial space) it has everything you’d expect and plenty you might not.
But it is the effortless way this car moves that really impresses and the imperious driving position.
Of course, it’s renowned across the motoring world for its ability and agility over the toughest of terrains, but it’s equally at home on motorways and around towns and villages.
And so comfortable too. It simply glides along.
Trust me, there is no pothole anxiety here!
In summary, the Land Rover Defender P400e is for all those who relish the thrill of driving, who seek prestige, performance and practicality, who enjoy technology and refinement and who simply want to move from A to B with the utmost style and grace.
Vertu Land Rover Bolton
Kay Street, Bolton BL1 2RX