And it's coming to the US for the first time in a quarter-of-a-century.
As the successor to one of the most iconic and capable off-roaders of all time, the new Land Rover Defender has a lot to live up to. But after Land Rover's extensive teaser campaign, exhaustive testing covering more than 745,000 miles across some of the world's most extreme environments, and numerous leaks, Land Rover's new rugged off-roader is finally here three years after the old model was killed off, reimagined for a new generation and more capable than ever before. And this time, it's coming to the US for the first time in 25 years.
On the outside, the 2020 Defender adopts its predecessor's familiar boxy shape, flat hood, and Alpine light windows integrated into the roof, mixed with reimagined design elements. Designers have given the new off-roader an upright stance and added sleek new LED headlights, while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and mounted spare wheel that distinguished the original.
"We have created the new Defender to ensure it is ready for anything, with a design that has been inspired by the past, not constrained by it," said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer at Land Rover. "Its elemental grille, sophisticated surfacing and commanding stance give the entire family a modernity and confidence that set it apart, while simultaneously retaining the essential elements that make a Defender so recognizable."
In terms of dimensions, the new Defender 110 measures 197.6 inches long with the rear-mounted spare wheel, 77.4 inches high, and 82.9 inches wide including the mirrors, with a 119-inch wheelbase. A Defender 90 will later join the lineup, measuring 180.4 inches long with the rear-mounted spare wheel, 77.5 inches high, and 82.9 inches wide including the mirrors, with a 101.9-inch wheelbase.
According to Land Rover, the 2020 Defender's new D7x architecture is 95 percent new and based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create Land Rover's stiffest body structure ever. Compared to traditional body-on-frame designs, it's three times stiffer and supports fully independent air or coil-sprung suspension, as well as electrified powertrains. This new platform provides an impressive ground clearance of 11.5 inches, and approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively in off-road height. It also has a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds.
Its maximum wading depth of 35.6 inches is supported by a new Wade program in the Defender's Terrain Response 2 system, enabling drivers to wade through deep water with complete confidence. On dry land, Land Rover's advanced ClearSight Ground View tech shows the area usually hidden by the hood, directly ahead of the front wheels, on the central touchscreen.
At launch, the Defender 110 will be available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine badged as the P300 developing 296 hp at 5,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque, enabling the off-roader to hit 0-62 mph in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 119 mph. A mild hybrid variant, badged as the P400 with a 3.0-liter turbo inline-4 and 48-volt electric supercharger increases the power to 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 mph in the P400 takes 5.8 seconds.
The smaller 2020 Defender 90, on the other hand, will be offered with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine with electric boost developing 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque when it joins the lineup at a later date. 0-62 mph in the Defender 90 will take 5.7 seconds before achieving a top speed of 129 mph. Regardless of which Defender you opt for, power is sent through a smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, the interior is more modern and technically advanced than the old Defender, with a central 10-inch touchscreen that's more intuitive and responsive than before and incorporates wireless charging and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while over-the-air updates give access to the latest software updates remotely. Thanks to the dash-mounted gear shifter that accommodates an optional central front 'jump' seat, there's room for three in the front just like in early Land Rovers.
As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six, or 5+2 seating configurations, with 38 cubic feet of luggage space in the five-seat 110 and 32 cubic feet in three-row models with the rear row folded. The Defender 90, on the other hand, will be able to accommodate six occupants. Driver assists include Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Cruise Control, and Speed Limiter functions, a Driver Condition Monitor and front and rear Parking Aids. Customers can also choose from six-speaker, and 10 and 14-speaker sound systems delivering 180W, 400W or 700W.
Customers will be able to personalize the new Defender more extensively than ever before with four Accessory Packs, The Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban, that give the Defender a distinct character with specially selected enhancements. In addition, a wide range of accessories will be available including a Remote Control Electric Winch, Rooftop Tent and Inflatable Waterproof Awnings, as well as conventional tow bar systems and roof racks.
Pricing for the 2020 Land Rover Defender starts at $49,900, while the P400 starts at $62,250.