Some fans argue that the Land Rover Defender was born in 1983, so comparing the later cars to the original 1948 Series 1 is as foolish as making a Lucas joke about a Bosch-equipped Jaguar. But looking at the shared construction method of a ladder frame with an aluminum body on top, I would say the "Ninety" and "One-Ten" badges were the only major changes brought to the table by the digital age.
What's the drag co-efficient of a late Defender? Nobody knows for sure. But according to a wind tunnel test ten years ago at Daimler, it's in the region of 0.59. To compare, a new, much-improved Jeep Wrangler's is 0.454, with the doors on. Yet throw a 400 horsepower V8 and ZF's 8-speed automatic in the four-wheel drive Defender, and despite weighing around 4299 lbs., it will get to sixty in 5.6 seconds. Some 0.2 seconds quicker than a front-wheel drive Honda Civic Type R.
The Defender Works V8 is technically a used car costing four-times as much as the Japanese hot hatch, but it does have 84 more horses to cope with its extra 1256 lbs. The 8-speed automatic also hooks up faster with the dual-speed transfer box and the automatic torque biasing center differential, which in this case shifts up to 90 percent of the torque to the rear axle for maximum acceleration.
The Defender is a truck that when put into neutral, won't accelerate despite rolling downhill. It just can't. In the other corner, the current Civic Type R is the slipperiest car in its segment. "the overall drag coefficient is reduced by three percent compared to the previous Type R", they mean its just north of 0.26. There's also the weight difference, as well as the fact that the Defender's all-wheel drive would give it a killer jump off the line. But once up to speed, it's no match for the little Honda.
Thanks to the hard work of Top Gear (and physics teachers all over the world), now, we know that for sure.