The 2020 Land Rover Defender is finally here after what seemed like a lifetime of waiting. While it was well-received, for the most part, there are a couple of things that has rubbed everyone the wrong way. The first “issue” is that the new Defender won’t be offered in a pickup truck guise, despite its history as a pickup in various markets around the world. One could argue that, with the popularity of pickups as daily drivers and family vehicles, a Defender pickup could prosper. But, Land Rover says no way. So, what’s the other big letdown? Well, despite the fact that the original defender was available on the market from 1948 to 2016 as a manual (there wasn’t even the option for an automatic, by the way), Land Rover is choosing to offer this generation with an automatic transmission only – no hope for three pedals and no hope in you changing Land Rovers Mind. The reason why this is the case, however, falls on you and the government….

If You Want a Third Row of Seating – Auto-Only Defenders are Your Fault

Here's Why The Land Rover Defender Won't Have a Manual Transmission Interior
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In an interview with Car Advice, Land Rover Chief Engineer – Nick Rogers – told reports that “having a manual is just daft in 2019.” He went on to boast the achievements of his team by saying there are “millions of lines of code” to control the transmission and e-turbo systems, among other things.

The idea is that this code helps the Defender’s hybrid system to recuperate energy.

More importantly, however, is the fact that Rogers believes that a manual transmission isn’t efficient (And, it’s probably not) but that since the gearbox is mounted in the center console, it makes adding a third row of seats while meeting safety regulations, easier.

To Rogers, A Manual Transmission is Little More than “Holding a Gear Stick.”

Here's Why The Land Rover Defender Won't Have a Manual Transmission Interior
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During his interview and discussing the lack of a manual transmission, Rogers said the following:

“someone a gear stick to hang on to the gears is really not the most efficient thing to do.”

So, after 60-plus years of selling the Defender with a manual transmission and watching the outcry from enthusiasts across the globe as the manual transmission dies, buddy Nick seems to think that rowing your own is all about “hanging onto a gear stick.”

I’m going to come right out and say it, but I don’t think this man has any business being anywhere near the development of a vehicle that appeals in any way, shape, or form to enthusiasts.

Having a manual transmission is about a lot more than “holding onto a gear stick.” It’s about having control, it’s about the skill of shifting, and it’s about not relying on another gizmo to do the work for you. It’s also more important than ever on a vehicle designed to do some serious off-roading.

You Can Blame the Government Too

Here's Why The Land Rover Defender Won't Have a Manual Transmission Exterior
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According to Land Rover, the Defender’s active safety systems – those required to mee 2019 Euro NCAP standards – won’t work with a manual transmission. Seems a little funny that other automakers are able to pull it off. Maybe it’s just an excuse, or maybe there’s really a serious compatibility issue. I’m certainly looking at the former for blame, though. Either way, if what Land Rover says is true, you can blame the new Defender not having a manual transmission on the Government. With that said, it should be pointed out that it would probably be very difficult to integrate an energy recuperation system with a manual transmission, so I’ll give Land Rover that. Furthermore, it has been shown that automatic transmissions are generally more efficient

Either way, the end result is the same – the 2020 Land Rover Defender (or any other future model) will not be offered with a manual transmission.

Further Reading

Here's Why The Land Rover Defender Won't Have a Manual Transmission Exterior
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The 2020 Land Rover Defender Has Arrived with New Tricks and Old-School Looks

Land Rover Is Working on a Defender SVR and Here's the Proof
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Land Rover Defender SVR.

2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept.

2007 Land Rover Defender
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Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Defender.

Source: Car Advice

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