A first look at Land Rover’s new Defender

  • A first look at Land Rover’s new Defender

A first look at Land Rover’s new Defender

After years of being under development, the 2020 Land Rover Defender has finally been unveiled, at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Land Rover has kept the Defender true to its roots but changed everything to make it a viable offering for the present.

Land Rover is making the new Defender available in both the 90 and 110 sizes, along with a number of different design packages, each with its own interior and exterior trim options. The Defender was always Land Rover's true 4x4, compared to the Discovery and other models aimed more at posh urban cowboys.

Starting with the former, Land Rover has been careful to stress that in wants to make the Defender look modern, but still honour the heritage of the iconic original. Nods to last-gen model include the proper upright stance, the squared-off wheel arches and the short front and rear overhangs.

A new auto has remained with the usual off-road capabilities and distinctive design features.

The dashboard is set low to enhance visibility.

LEGO Land Rover Defender 2

The 110 will offer three seating configurations - five, six or seven - including three across the front just like Land Rovers of yore with the optional centre "jump seat" employed. That would take you from zero to 60 miles per hour in over 6 seconds and to a top speed of over 130 miles per hour, should you want to do that in a Land Rover for some reason. The load space behind the second row offers up to 1075 litres, increasing to as much as 2380L when folded.

The Defender sits on Land Rover's D7x platform, with "x" standing for "extreme". This is aluminium monocoque structure three times stiffer than body-on-frame cars. Notable new off-roading tech is the debut of the fully configurable Terrain Response system. Three throttle levels and gearbox sensitivity boost driver control.

Other nice touches include 8.5 inches of ground clearance for the two-door defender, and 8.6 for the four-door version, both of which can be bumped up to 11.5 inches by selecting the vehicle's off-road-height setting. Later will be a diesel 300 horsepower six-cylinder version. A hybrid variant will soon arrive by 2020, maybe with the name P400e.

Official figures show the petrol version of the 110 can reach 100km/h from standstill in 6.1 seconds, on its way to a 191km/h top speed (or 208km/h with a Performance pack fitted), while its fuel economy on the NEDC combined cycle comes in at 9.6 litres per 100km. The diesel versions are the D200 and the D240. This makes it the flawless vehicle for Land Rover enthusiasts who feel the company may have strayed too far from signature design aesthetic.

Both the Defender 90 and 110 will be available in the United Kingdom, starting at £35 000 and £45 000 respectively.