2020 Land Rover Defender Quirks And Features
I am in love with the new Land Rover Defender. But at first, I was not. I was disappointed with its move towards an unibody chassis, and I have resented all the "soft-touches" Land Rover prepped for it. But I have changed my mind.
True, it is a mommy automobile, and a kids-to-school mover, but it is the best mommy automobile and kids transportation device I have ever seen. It’s tough, robust, well-engineered, rugged, and seriously capable. Plus, Land Rover offers it with 170 accessories, like roof racks, tow hitches, steel wheels, a rinse system, an armrest cooler, and a front bench-style seat. Find me another car that offers all of that. There’s no way you can. But!
There is a big "but" here. The 2020 Land Rover Defender is seriously expensive. It starts at $50,925 (plus destination charges) in the U.S. That’s huge. That is the price of the base BMW X4 xDrive30i. Take a deep dive in the configurator and you can spec it out at more than 100 grand. That is absurd.
In 2012, the Land Rover Defender started at $22,000 in Australia. Then again, the only thing that’s left from the old Defender on the new one is the name. Nothing else. This is a wholly new car. I only hope that Land Rover invested heavily in quality control. If it manages to ace reliability and dependability surveys with the new Defender, I’d say that the price may even be justified.
Here are several cool quirks and features that set this Defender apart from any other car in the world.
2020 Porsche Taycan
The Porsche Taycan is an all-electric sports sedan based on the Mission E concept. It’s also Porsche’s first-ever production electric car, designed to go against the Tesla Model S. Previewed by the Mission E concept, the Taycan sports design features borrowed from the show car, but also includes styling features seen on the Panamera sedan and 911 sports car. Powered by a couple of electric motors, the Taycan generates in excess of 700 horsepower in its range-topping version.
While considered laughable just a decade or two ago, the idea of a high-performance electric vehicle is now widely accepted in even the most traditional of speed circles. Porsche took full advantage of this and designed a sleeker Panamera that’s notably more powerful and quicker. Granted, it’s not as spectacular as the Mission E concept, but it’s definitely an exotic appearance even when compared to full-fledged sports cars. However, does it have what it takes to compete with the Tesla Model S? Let’s find out in the detailed review below.
Updated 10/14/2019: Porsche added a new member to its Taycan lineup. The new Taycan 4S has been announced in two different battery configurations. Check the Drivetrain section for more details.
2019 Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex Concept
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex is a concept car that the German company introduced at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The show car pays homage to the iconic Mercedes 35 HP race car from 1901, an automobile that previewed the Mercedes Simplex, a production road car the German firm built from 1902 to 1909. A retro-inspired two-seater, the Vision Simplex brings the 35 HP into the future through a sleeker look, modern technology, and state-of-the-art craftsmanship.
The Vision Simplex joins a long list of Vision-branded concept cars that started with the Vision SLA in 2000 and includes the AMG Vision Gran Turismo coined in 2013. The Vision Simplex follows the Vision Van of 2016 and the Vision EQS of 2019, the latter being a preview of an all-electric S-Class sedan. Will the Vision Simplex spawn a production model? Definitely not, but it’s one of the coolest concepts around. Let’s have a closer look.
2020 Land Rover Defender
The 2020 Land Rover Defender is a brand-new SUV that revives a nameplate that the British firm discontinued in 2016. But not only it marks the Defender’s return after three years, it also marks the nameplate’s return to the U.S. market after 22 years. The 2020 Defender is a familiar sight thanks to its boxy design, but that’s the only feature that reminds of its predecessor. Underneath, the 2020 Defender sports a modern, all-aluminum monocoque architecture and, for the first time, it comes with a mild hybrid drivetrain.
The 2020 Defender also comes into dealerships with a complete engine lineup that includes both gasoline and diesel powerplants. However, the oil burners aren’t available in the United States. The 2020 Defender remains as versatile as its predecessor with various interior layouts available. You can order it as a classic five seater, but you can also opt for a front jump seat and turn it into a six seater. Two addition third-row seats are also available, so the Defender can also become a seven- or eight-seat SUV. What else is new and how does it compare with the iconic Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes-Benz G-Class? Let’s find out in the detailed review below.
The Hyundai i30 N was what we believed to be the best Hyundai could do with the i30 hatchback. After all, it was tuned and tweaked at the Nurburgring. But then, a year later, Hyundai showed up to the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show with the i30 N Project C – a limited-production, euro-only i30N that’s more
2020 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37
The 2020 Lamborghini Sian is a hybrid supercar that the Italian firm unveiled ahead of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Powered by a V-12 gasoline engine and an electric motor, the Sian is Lambo’s first mass-produced hybrid. However, the supercar is limited to only 63 units, so it’s actually a preview of things to come, like an electrified successor to the Aventador.
Design-wise, the Sian stands on its own by combining a new design language with styling cues inspired by the iconic Lamborghini Countach. Its interior, on the other hand, is based on the Aventador’s, albeit it comes with bespoke elements and fancier features. The Sian also showcases innovative technology, like a state-of-the-art energy recuperating system and a supercapacitor instead of a traditional lithium-ion battery. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
2020 Ferrari F8 Spider
The Ferrari F8 Spider is the convertible version of the F8 Tributo. It replaces the outgoing Ferrari 488 Spider in the lineup and just like its coupe counterpart, it features technology and underpinnings from the track-bred 488 Pista. While not as dynamic as the 488 Pista Spider, it’s a solid improvement over the 488 Spider. The F8 Spider joins a prestigious bloodline of drop-top V-8 sports cars that begun with the iconic 308 GTS back in 1977.
Ferrari’s most powerful V-8 convertible alongside the 488 Pista Spider, the F8 Spider arrives just in time to compete with the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder. It also goes against the McLaren 720S Spider, yet another fine example of the high-performance sports car market. Find out what sets apart the F8 Spider from its predecessors and how it compares with its rivals in the detailed review below.
2020 Ferrari 812 GTS
The Ferrari 812 GTS is the convertible version of the 812 Superfast, the grand tourer that replaced the F12berlinetta in 2017. Ferrari’s range-topping drop-top as of 2019, the 812 GTS is also the company’s first production, front-engined, V-12 convertible since 1969. After 20 years of limited edition grand tourers with infinite headroom, Ferrari finally caved in a build a production-ready, drop-top grand tourer.
Besides the "GTS" badge and the minor changes above the waistline, this drop-top is pretty much identical to the 812 Superfast. It has the same 6.5-liter V-12 engine under the hood and comes with almost 800 horsepower on tap. It needs less than three seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and tops out at more than 200 mph. All told, it’s one of the most potent grand tourers on the market and a turning point for Ferrari, which just released its first full-production convertible GT in 50 years. Find out more about that in the review below.
Sometimes it feels like there are more futuristic concepts floating around that there are modern cars on the road. While that may not really be the case, there certainly isn’t a deficit of concepts that represent what automakers see in their future. Not all of them are crazy, though, and that’s exactly what brings me to the concept we’re talking about today: The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS. This specific concept is actually, in at least some way, shape, or form, representative of a future electric model equivalent to the S-Class Saloon. If the production version of the EQS follows the same suit as the new EQC SUV, then it won’t look a whole lot like this concept, but that’s a story for a different time. For now, let’s take a closer look at the Mercedes Vision EQS and see what Mercedes expects out of the full-size electric saloon of the future.
2020 Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Cabrio by Brabus
Brabus, the famed German tuner that’s made a name for itself by extracting ludicrous amounts of power out of some already very potent V-8s and V-12s that were at the heart of Mercedes-Benz’s lineup of sedans and sports cars, brought to the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2019 a serving of re-heated stew. This is, by all intents and purposes, the Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Shadow Edition Cabrio we’ve seen already earlier this year at Geneva, minus the Gunmetal Grey paint. It’s got just as much power, the same oversized rims, the same hunched widebody, and the same tacky details like the illuminated door sills. You may never see one with your own two eyes since Brabus only plans to sell 28 (fewer than the amount of Ferrari 250 GTOs in the world) but you can’t blame Brabus for only making a couple of dozen of these since it has already oversaturated the market with the 28 units of the Shadow Edition. Granted, this one is cheaper by a few grand although at €59,000 in Europe it’s not cheap in the grand scheme of things.
So, let’s say you’re in the market for an ultra-small city car that’s also 100% electric and features a folding roof. What does that say about you? Well, on paper, you’re a person who could do without the worries related with having to find a parking spot in the bustling downtown area of the city while also trying to do his or her part in reducing pollution - all with a dribble of fun added to the experience by the open-air feel of a cabriolet. What all this means is that the person that would be in the market for a Smart EQ Fortwo Cabriolet isn’t looking for what the Brabus Ultimate E is offering, i.e. big wheels, more power, and less practicality because of the lowered ride height and the fact that it doesn’t come with a bigger battery. In spite of all that, it exists and it’s not even the only Brabus-tuned Smart Fortwo on the European market, there tamer options in the German company’s portfolio if the widebody doesn’t necessarily float your boat.
Imagine, if you will, that you have a crystal ball and within that ball, you can see BMW’s future. What do you see 5 years from now? 10 years from now? 20 years from now? Do you see crazy sports cars, an allotment of high-spend luxury cars, or a simple evolution of the cars the brand offers today? Well, if you look at the BMW Concept 4, the what you should be seeing is grille….lots and lots of big grilles. After all, that has been the most controversial thing about the new Concept 4, a model that’s said to represent, at least in some form, the next-gen 4 Series. That means other models, should this grille find its way to the next-gen 4 Series, could feature a similar look down the road as well. For now, though, let’s take a closer look at the Concept 4 and see what more there is to it outside of that massive grille.
The 10 Coolest Accessories Available For the 2020 Land Rover Defender
Land Rover finally revealed the new Defender at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show. The Defender was one of the most hardcore off-roaders before people started perceiving it as a premium SUV and not as a pure off-roader. It disappeared into oblivion in 2016 only to return three years later, reinvigorated. The new Defender is a lot more tough and back on track to being a true off-roader once again.
However, Land Rover has introduced it with all bells and whistles one can ask for and a lot of accessories to customize it as per you need. In fact, the accessories on offer have created a lot of buzz and they will be available right from the launch of the SUV. Just to be clear, there are 170 accessories and theme packs available for the Defender. We’ve chosen our pick and here are 10 accessories we found super cool and useful that you must consider if you plan on buying a Defender when it launches. Also note that we’re not going to mention the four default theme packs that Land Rover already has on offer.
All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant
Renault unveiled an all-new generation of its Captur crossover at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it wasn’t really on many people’s radar, even though the previous generation model sold over 1.5 million units since its introduction. So the new Captur is a really rather important model for Renault; it’s not terribly exciting for automotive journos or enthusiasts, but as a car people are actually going to buy, it is quite significant.