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Land Rover to launch new Defender in 2020 in southern Africa with 3-litre straight-six option

Land Rover to launch new Defender in 2020 in southern Africa with 3-litre straight-six option

This week saw the new car launch of the decade when Land Rover unveiled its much anticipated new Defender.

Since earlier this year, speculation was rife in motoring circles worldwide regarding the route Land Rover has chosen to replace one of the most iconic vehicles of all time. Land Rover enthusiasts, keen to get a glimpse of how much the new Defender will depart from its hefty progenitor, flighted snippets from the film location of the new James Bond flick, claiming that this was it.

Many others posted videos ranging from gross misinformation to supposedly insider revelations but none of this noise could dampen the sense of trepidation Defender supporters felt before the launch date. Even teasers of distant shots of the Defender cruising down a Tajikistan canyon, could not make up for the frothing expectations.

Then finally, on Tuesday 10 September, Land Rover Jaguar officially released the images and descriptions of the car that will be critically examined and dissected for the next couple of months.

First impressions are all over the top. Despite its growing family of closely related cars all based on some minor tweaking of the Discovery, Evoque, Range Rover shell, the engineers at Land Rover have truly pulled a proverbial hare out of the hat.

The new Defender is stunning, filling the shoes of its predecessor in such a grand way that it will quickly become just as highly-regarded as its boxy ancestors.

Land Rover’s Chief Designer, Gerry McGovern, said “We have created the new Defender to ensure it is ready for anything, with a design that has been inspired by the past, not constrained by it. Its elemental grille, sophisticated surfacing and commanding stance give the entire family a modernity and confidence that set it apart, while simultaneously retaining the essential elements that make a Defender so recognisable.”

The Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations while the Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family SUV.

Its architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. It has been through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.

Land Rover Jaguar said “A transformational breadth of capability sets the new Defender apart. Permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential ensure it has all the hardware required to excel [anywhere].”

Ground clearance is an acceptable 291 mm with a 38° approach angle and a 40° departure angle. It can wade through 900 mm of water before it starts to float.

A choice of advanced petrol and cleaner diesel engines ensures the new Defender has the power, control and efficiency for any environment. At the South African launch expected in the first half of 2020, the 110 line-up will include a powerful 3-litre straight six P400 featuring efficient Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology with outputs of 294kW and 550Nm. Alternatively, customers can choose a 2-litre D240 turbodiesel with 177kW and 430Nm.

The introduction of more engine options, along with the short-wheelbase 90 derivative, will follow later in 2020.


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.