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Land Rover Electrifies the Classic Defender

• Wired.com
 

No, really. Hear us out. This thing sounds awesome.

Land Rover is bringing seven electrified Defenders to the Geneva Motor Show, each equipped with a 300-volt lithium-ion battery that powers a 94-horsepower motor with 243 pound-feet of torque. Range might seem far from livable at a paltry 50 miles, but given the Defender’s natural habitat – low speed, off-road terrain – and a beefy regenerative braking system, it totally works. Anyone who’s wandered off the beaten path and onto rocky terrain knows crawling and braking are the keys to a successful climb or descent. That’s what makes an electric Defender so bloody brilliant.

By combining a modified version of the LR’s four-wheel drive system with a single-speed transmission, a reworked version of the automaker’s Terrain Response System and regenerative braking, Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering Team devised a system that can recover and store up to 80 percent of the kinetic energy otherwise lost as heat during braking.

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