On vacation, Queen Elizabeth II's favorite car isn't a Jaguar, Bentley, or even Rolls-Royce. When she got behind the wheel, Her Majesty, who served as a mechanic during the Second World War, opted for a Land Rover Defender, a true British certified all-terrain vehicle, of the hard-working type. You couldn't find a better mount to cover the 200 km2 moorland from his property in Balmoral, Scotland.
Like others, the Defender embraces the rise of the entertainment society, but in a large format. Its owners practice horse riding, hunt, fish, ski …
Designed in 1948 on the model of the Willys Jeep, the Defender is the car of gentlemen-farmers and foresters but also long-distance travelers ready to wade through the mud or face the rubble of the deserts. Its four-wheel drive did not acquire their letters of nobility in the sandboxes but on the tracks of the Camel Trophy and the Paris-Dakar of heroic times. There's Indiana Jones in this big car that literally requires you to climb aboard, sports a sickle-cut body, and crosses fords more than half a meter deep. Hence the scent of adventure that floats around the Land.
Its faults are not lacking. The driving position, eccentric, crushes the driver against the door, the diesel engine is flexible but sluggish (unless you opt for the gluttonous V8 gasoline) and makes a noise of all the devils, the seats are uncomfortable as possible and the direction is floating. Yet they form the basis of its street credibility, as the English say. We are not going to set off to conquer the great outdoors aboard a cozy cocoon.
The good vein
Like others, the Defender embraces the rise of the entertainment society, but in a large format. Its owners practice horseback riding, hunt, fish, ski, sail or hike. In the 1990s, this automotive equation began to speak to the imaginations of many families. Particularly in the United States, where sales of light trucks and pick-ups have exploded, but also in Europe. Jeep, dying, suddenly regained energy, Mercedes felt the right lode and the Japanese Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki have made a specialty of these models called "4 x 4" because of their all-wheel drive on all four wheels. Some then set out to make it their daily car.
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