Our spies have captured the new Land Rover Defender undergoing testing in its production body. Read on for the car’s price, specs and release date
New Land Rover Defender
Improved off-road ability and hybrid power
Price & release date
From £35,000 in 2020
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The new Land Rover Defender has been spotted testing near the company’s HQ in the UK. The new model is expected to come packed full with off-roading tech and to be available with hybrid power. Read on for all the info on the car’s price, specs and release date.
New 2020 Land-Rover Defender price and release date
We’re a while away from the reveal of the 2020 Land Rover Defender so prices won’t be confirmed for another year or so. That said, a price tag of around £35-40,000 would keep the car in the same ballpark as the more utilitarian old model and won’t price it out of the reach of people those who’ll use the Defender as a working vehicle.
New 2020 Land-Rover Defender styling
These prototype pics give us our first idea how the 2020 Land Rover Defender will look and the word that best describes it is… ‘chunky’. This seems like a wise move when you look at the reincarnations of alternative utilitarian SUVs like the tiny Suzuki Jimny and the latest version of the hulking great Mercedes G-Class – both of which play on the boxy styling of the cars they replace.
And cars don’t come much more utilitarian than the Land Rover Defender. Like the Suzuki and the Mercedes, this is an SUV that really does need to work 0ff-road and the wheel-at-each-corner look of this prototype model means it’ll be able to tackle gradients that would beach a Nissan Qashqai. The off-set badge on the grille of the car in these pictures mirrors the design seen in Land-Rover’s latest models but those square, flat bumpers should be much cheaper to replaces than the more bulbaceous trims you get on a trendier car such as the Land Rover Discovery.
Around the side, the huge, easily damaged wheels you get with a top-of-the-range Range Rover are out and in their place we can see smaller rims, with high profile, grippy tyres that’ll be much better suited to finding their way across a variety of terrains. The significant cornering lean shown by this car also seems to indicate that the new Defender will get massive axle articulation allowing it to keep its tyres on the ground even over extremely uneven surfaces – giving you loads of traction.
Take in the back of the car and again you’ll see simple flat panels that’ll be cheap to replace along with a small rear bumper that’s huge clearance should prevent it getting ripped of when you’re tackling tough terrain. Perhaps the best news, however, is that the Defender dodges the ugly offset number plate that’s proved so unpopular on the new Discovery.
New 2020 Land-Rover Defender specs
Every part of the new Land-Rover Defender will be developed with tough off-roading in mind. That’ll start from the ground up with a solid ladder chassis that’ll make the Defender heavy but also allow it to bounce of boulders that would cripple a regular family SUV like a Nissan Qashqai. A ladder chassis would also make the Defender strong enough to pull huge loads – the old car was loved by the UK’s police because it could haul a stranded articulated lorry off the motorway even if it was fully loaded.
The Defender will also be styled to take a hard life in its stride. Minimal front and rear overhangs will help it scale ridiculously steep gradients, while easily removed body panels will keep repair costs cheap when you pick up inevitable bumps, scrapes and scratches. It should look a lot more modern than the original model, though, with a less fussy, smooth body and tight panel gaps, while you can expect it to come equipped with power-saving LED front and rear tail lights. Bettering the old model’s off-road ability is a tall order, but making it more accessible to amateur off-roaders shouldn’t be a problem. Expect the old car’s confusing combination of manually selected differentials and low-range gears to be swapped for a straightforward Terrain Response selector that’ll set the car up for a variety of off-road conditions – such as sand, snow and mud –automatically.
New 2020 Land-Rover Defender engines and driving
Jaguar Land-Rover’s latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel and petrol Ingenium engines are likely to find a new home in the Defender, and both manual and automatic gearbox options should be available. It’ll be far more refined than the old model, which isn’t saying much. A hybrid is also expected, it’ll use a petrol engine alongside an electric motor. It is likely to offer 31 miles of electric-only power. The old Land-Rover Defender was at best terrible and at times a dangerous road car, especially if you had just stepped out of a modern family car with safe and predictable road handling. The new model should be a huge improvement with suspensions that’ll not suffer from horrendous body roll in bends and sophisticated stability control systems that’ll stop you from losing control of the car even during evasive manoeuvres.
New 2020 Land-Rover Defender interior
Not too much is known about the Defender’s interior yet, but expect it to be a more inviting place to sit than the old model’s which had all the warm and welcoming qualities of a prison cell. Expect to see some soft-touch plastics and equipment like leather seats and climate control, although rubber mats and seat covers will be options worth investing in if you plan to use your new Defender as its maker intends.