After a long hiatus, the Defender will soon return to our shores.
Earlier this month, Land Rover sugged a big announcement was forthcoming by rolling what appeared to be a prototype for the new Defender off the back of a truck. Today, Land Rover has confirmed that this was indeed a Defender prototype, which will begin testing in North America in January 2019. So, why has Land Rover decided to test the new Defender in North America? As the big sticker saying 'Coming To America' points out, this new Defender will finally be coming to the United States and Canada - oh what a happy day this is.
Land Rover says the next-generation Defender will be fully revealed in 2019 and will be available starting in 2020. Images of the Defender still show it wearing heavy camouflage, so it's hard to discern exactly what it looks like underneath. From what we can tell, the overall shape looks far more conventional than the outgoing model, which may anger some Defender purists out there. Land Rover has also kept details such as powertrain a secret, for now.
Unlike the previous Defender, which was very utilitarian, this new model is targeting the Mercedes G-Glass as its main rival and claims to be highly advanced. This doesn't mean this new Defender won't be able to handle rough terrain.
In North America, the engineers will test the prototype in temperatures ranging from -40F to 120F and through on-and off-road surfaces at altitudes of more than 13,000 feet above sea level.
Clearly, this new Defender won't sacrifice its off-road utility. Land Rover knows how much of a cult following the Defender has in the US, after not being sold here since 1997.
"There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle," said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America.
"On behalf of Land Rover and our retailers, we are proud to announce the voices of American and Canadian customers has been heard: The all-new Defender will be for sale here starting in 2020. This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hint of what's to come in the New Year."