New information on the much-anticipated completely redesigned 2020 Land Rover Defender

After years of working on it, Land Rover is going to reveal an all-new Defender this year. The old Defender was phased out in 2016 mainly due to the fact that it did not meet safety standards for both occupants and pedestrians - they couldn’t even equip the old one with airbags, so a ground-up redesign was decided.

An Off-Road Superstar For The Modern Day

All-New Land Rover Defender Debuts This September, Goes On Sale In 2020
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According to a new report, we are six months away from the reveal of the all-new Defender, a model that aims to blend retro style, rough-and-tough appeal, and a much-needed injection of tech and modernity.

It will feature all-new and cleaner engines, a contemporary and far more upmarket interior, and extensive use of aluminum in its structure.

We don’t exactly know what the new Defender will look like, but Land Rover kindly provided a batch of photos showcasing a camouflaged prototype at the very end of 2018. That example is our best look at the four-door version of the upcoming off-roader, but we can’t say for sure whether it will be this boxy or if it has misleading shapes hidden under its camo in order to keep its new look concealed.

All-New Land Rover Defender Debuts This September, Goes On Sale In 2020
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This camouflaged example looks a lot like a squared off Discovery model with slightly higher ride height.

But maybe once all that camo is pealed, what will be revealed will be a unique and desirable looking model that will appeal to both fans of the old Defender, but also people who in the past would not have considered buying one. It looks so square and purposeful, that we wouldn’t be surprised if it was hiding a beard under there, or at the very least some stubble...

Following in the tire tracks of the old model will be a tall order, since all previous Defender models, whose total sales figure from 1948 to 2016 amounts to around 2-million, was a vehicle bought more for what it could do than anything else.

All previous Defenders have been no-frills, no-luxury workhorses whose emphasis was most definitely not on luxury or comfort - it was all about how capable they were going off-road.
All-New Land Rover Defender Debuts This September, Goes On Sale In 2020
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Now, this new Defender will take the nameplate in a totally new direction, injecting luxury, tech and comfort into the mix, but in doing so, Land Rover risks alienating the kind of buyers that appreciated the old model - farmers, people who need the off-road capability and an interior that you can hose down to clean.

We’ve already seen the Defender’s interior and it’s a huge improvement over the dated, early ’90s look of the previous model. And this will go well with the new Defender’s newfound comfort and refinement which are said to not come at the expense of off-road ability - we’ll have to wait to confirm that, because these things do affect one another; if you make a car better on the road, you affect its off-road worthiness, while if you make a car better at crawling over rocks, it will not really be particularly well suited to driving on smooth tarmac.

The change of direction for the Defender is clear. Motortrend’s Johnny Lieberman snapped a photo of the underside of a prototype he spotted testing in the Moab desert and he discovered that particular example had air suspension fitted to it. That’s something no Defender has ever had from the factory and it shows Land Rover’s intent to make it more comfortable, but also give it variable ride height which you can alter depending on conditions.

Apparently, the fully-independent suspension setup looks a lot like what you see under the Land Rover Discovery, making the fact that they probably ride on different versions of the same platform very plausible.

That leads us to believe the engines will be shared too, so expect 2.0-liter gasoline engines (and a few diesels for specific markets).

The all-new Defender is expected to debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September and it is believed to go on sale from 2020. Its traditional rival is the Jeep Wrangler, a model that in its latest generation is regarded as very good, and there’s also the upcoming Ford Bronco for Land Rover to worry about, especially since it intends to sell the all-new Defender in the U.S. too.

Further reading

2013 Land Rover Defender High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Defender.

Source: CarAdvice

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