2020 Land Rover Defender: price, specs and release date

Matthew Mills
November 13, 2019

The new Land Rover Defender will have a starring role in the latest James Bond film – No Time To Die. Here’s everything you need to know about carwow’s 2019 Design Award winner. 

  • Revealed

    2020 Land Rover Defender

  • Specs include

    advanced offroad tech and 3,500kg towing capacity

  • Price and release date

    from £45,200; deliveries expected this year

2020 Land Rover Defender in No Time To Die

The Land Rover Defender will star in the new Bond movie – No Time To Die, securing the 4×4 legend some of the most valuable screentime British cinema has to offer, and instantly elevating it to an all-new level of cool.

Based on a Defender X finished in Santorini Black, the car in the film features darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels and professional off-road tyres – suggesting the mandatory chase scene will involve some serious off-road action. Certainly, the deep mud, slurry-like spray and wheels-in-the-air inclines – seen here as the James Bond stunt crew put the Defender through its paces – are enough to make Land Rover aficionados weak at the knees. It’s certainly doing it for the carwow office.

And if you’re going to be going off-road, what better car to do it in than the Land Rover Defender? Its towering ground clearance means steep inclines and break overs angles barely register. Also, a maximum wading depth of 900mm means the Defender can ford rivers and streams that would stop others dead in their tracks. 

Meanwhile, that black-on-black paint job could well be a sign that the Defender is on the side of the baddies – after all, we all know JB’s an Aston Martin fan. In which case, you can expect this Defender to carry some, er… less conventional upgrades like missiles or, perhaps, a tank-pounding mini gun.

To find out for yourself, though, you’ll have to see the film. In it, Bond has left active service but soon finds himself reenlisted to help in the search for a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that the scientist was abducted, Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before. Well, not since the last Bond movie, anyway.

The new film will be in cinemas from 3 April 2020.

2020 Land Rover Defender price and release date

The all-new Land Rover Defender starts from £45,240. This will get you the long-wheelbase, 110 version of the car. Cheaper models will join the line-up later down the line, with a shorter, 90 variant set to be priced from around £40,000. (It has been rumoured that an even longer-wheelbase, 130 version of the Defender will be joining the range later, although nothing’s been officially confirmed yet.) Land Rover is yet to say when your Defender will be delivered. However, you can expect first customers to get their cars towards the end of the year, with some more barebones commercial versions due in 2020.

2020 Land Rover Defender specs

The Defender has six trim levels available. The range starts with the £45,240 standard model, followed by S, SE, HSE and First Edition trims.  The Defender X version sits at the very top of the range. Standard Defenders get a ‘Resolve’ textile interior, while S and SE cars get a grained leather one, HSE models get Windsor leather and Defender X cars get a Windsor leather/eco-friendly textile mix.

Land Rover is yet to confirm more details about the Defender’s trim levels. However, a leaked spec sheet has given a good indication of what else to expect. Based on this, S cars get 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and a six-speaker, 170W stereo. SE cars have 20-inch wheels, automatically dipping LED headlights and a 370W stereo. HSE models get Matrix LED headlights and a 14-speaker, 740W surround-sound stereo. Lastly, Defender X cars have darkened wheels (still 20 inches) and ‘smoked’ taillights. If you’re torn between buying the 110 version of the Defender or waiting for the cheaper 90, the differences – as with the old model – are with passenger and storage space.

The 110 can be configured into five-, six- or seven-seat layouts (thanks to the Defender’s gear shifter being mounted on the dashboard, allowing three-abreast seating at the front). Behind the second row of seats is storage space of up to 1,075 litres, which you can expand to up to 2,380 litres when all but the front seats are folded down. Meanwhile, in the 90, you can accommodate up to six people (not bad for a car around the same length as a Ford Focus).

2020 Land Rover Defender styling

The old Land Rover Defender became a design icon, and the new model puts a modern twist on the boxy original. It’s a little more rounded-off and smooth-looking, while the old version’s more rugged-looking exterior details – such as exposed door hinges – are now absent. The front end in general is much curvier; it gets a rounded face and a flatter bonnet with angular grooves, reminiscent of the newest Discovery.

The new Defender’s look still has a lot in common with its predecessor’s, though. Not only is the body – especially at the sides and rear – as straight as ever, but the classic, vertical-tailgate-mounted spare wheel makes a comeback. So too do the old Defender’s solid, square-shaped wheel arches, as well as wheels that are pushed right to the edges of the body. This limits any overhang and means that the Defender can climb or descend harsh and uneven terrain as easily as possible. Another carryover is the two small ‘alpine’ windows directly above the rear passengers’ heads.

The doors, although not as minimalist as the old car’s, still look rather simply designed, meaning that the new Defender will retain a lot of its rugged, old-school charm. The paint has been covered in a durable satin wrap, specifically designed to endure extreme conditions. This means it will take a LOT of effort for you to give your Defender some permanent scars while you’re out in the wilderness. Go for a range-topping X version and you get some extra pieces with a black gloss finish.

An optional extra found on the 90 version of the Defender (it will be added as an option on the 110 next year) is a folding fabric roof. This means that, when it’s folded back, second-row passengers will be able to stand up in their seats. This is ideal for when you take your car out on a full-blown African safari.

2020 Land Rover Defender engines

At launch, there are four engines available for you to pick from: one petrol, two diesels and one petrol-electric mild hybrid. No matter which one you go for, it will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, designed to make gear changes as smooth and fast as possible. The purely petrol-powered engine is called the P300. It’s a twin-turbocharged, four-cylinder with 300hp, and can get the Defender from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds. The mild-hybrid P400 has a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine. Combined, the engine and its electric motor pump out – you guessed it – 400hp. The hybrid’s motor will give the Defender 550Nm of pulling power, as well as regenerative braking, which will collect energy that would otherwise be wasted as you brake. The motor also reduces turbo lag, meaning that a mild-hybrid Defender can get to 60mph from a standstill in just 6.1 seconds. Overall, the mild hybrid has a claimed fuel economy of 29mpg.

Elsewhere, both diesel engines are four-cylinder units that, Land Rover says, deliver a more impressive 37mpg. They also both have twin turbochargers, as well as 430Nm of torque – the same as what you’d get in a diesel-powered Discovery. The less powerful of the two engines is the 200hp D200, which can go from 0-60mph in 9.9 seconds. It’s outdone by the 240hp D240 unit – that reaches the same speed in 8.7 seconds.

In 2020, Land Rover will release a plug-in hybrid version of the Defender. This will almost certainly be called the P400e, and the manufacturer promises it will give you “silent, zero-emissions driving” – meaning that it will be able to travel on purely electric power. Much like most plug-in hybrids on sale, expect the Defender PHEV’s electric motor to get you around thirty miles of emissions-free motoring.

2020 Land Rover Defender driving

The new Land Rover Defender lives up to its ‘rough and ready’ heritage. Heavy hauls – on the road or off of it – as well as deep water, shouldn’t prove a problem for it. This is because it can tow up to 3,500kg, can carry 300kg on its roof and has a wading depth of up to 90cm (almost 15 more than a Jeep Wrangler can make its way through).

The 2020 Defender, unlike the previous model, will have semi-autonomous driving features. Available for the car are automatic emergency braking assist, lane-keeping assist, traffic-sign recognition software, cruise control and speed limiters.

The 2020 Defender makes use of Land Rover’s all-new, aluminium, monocoque D7x chassis, which is the stiffest Land Rover has ever made. On the road, this platform should be much more comfortable than the old model, which fell victim to some extreme body roll. Also, ideal for when you’re off the road, the D7x setup increases the car’s ground clearance by 2cm over the old Defender, making it able to cover rough ground with even greater ease.

You can even get it with air suspension, too, which gives you the ability to add another 75mm of ground clearance if need be. When you’re finished laying waste to everything not made of tarmac, you can lower the ground clearance by an extra 50mm. This should help you make a (somewhat) dignified exit…

The new Defender’s air suspension is also available with an Adaptive Dynamics feature. This monitors how the car’s body moves, taking measurements at up to 500 times per second. Then, with that info, it can adjust the suspension based on the terrain and your driving style, making sure the ride is always as smooth and comfy as possible.

2020 Land Rover Defender interior

2020 Land Rover Defender interior and infotainment

The cabin of the 2020 Defender is much more comfortable and luxurious than the old model. Higher trims in the range get leather upholstery as standard, with the X adding in stronger, wool-based textiles as well.

You can also customise your Defender’s interior when you buy one, with three colour schemes – as well as some personalisation options – available to pick from. These aren’t the only ways the Defender’s interior has evolved, either. In the front seats, you’ll have access to two 12V charging points and a USB socket, while passengers in the second row get all that AND another USB port.

The boot has yet another 12V socket, with a three-pin socket (like you’d find in your house) available as an option. You’ll also find a floor lined with a wipe-clean rubber mat back there (actually there’s the option of wipe-clean rubber mats throughout the Defender’s interior, a nod to the hose-clean floors of the original car). Speaking of the boot, the new Defender can take a payload of up to 900kg on the inside. This means that it can carry the weight of a Suzuki Celerio – and the driver and passenger inside of that – in its boot.

The new Defender has a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, which includes Bluetooth compatibility and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for smartphone mirroring. The built-in sat-nav can be consistently kept up to date with SOTA (Software-Over-The-Air) technology that gives you instant software updates. You can get the Defender with a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. With this, you’ll get 3D navigation projected directly in your line of sight.

Also available is a colour head-up display, which can, among other things, project the angle of the Defender’s wheels – handy if you’re offroad and getting your car into all manner of awkward twists and turns. Another cool piece of technology the new Defender gets is Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View technology, which you can already find in the latest Range Rover Evoque. This system uses small cameras mounted to the front of the Defender to film the ground directly in front of the front wheels, then project the images onto the infotainment screen. That way, when you’re offroad, you can see what your wheels are about to drive into. In addition, and standard on all models with six seats is ClearSight Rear View. This can transform the rear-view mirror into a digital screen, showing you a projection of what a rear-facing camera is filming.

2020 Land Rover Defender options

Alongside having 170 individual options for you to pick from, the Land Rover Defender gets four Accessory Packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. The Explorer Pack is designed for off-road sturdiness. It gives the Defender a raised air intake, a roof rack, mud flaps, wheel arch protection and a spare wheel cover.

The big selling point of the Adventure Pack is its Portable Rinse System, with a 6.5-litre water supply. Basically, this means your car has a shower in it, ideal for washing your dog. The pack also has mud flaps, a scuff plate and a spare wheel cover. The Country Pack is a compromise between the Explorer and Adventure bundles. You get the Portable Rinse System, as well as wheel arch protection, mud flaps and a scuff plate.

The Urban Pack is meant to let your Defender stand out in the city, giving it a lot of styling details that highlight its offroad-readiness. These include bright metal pedals, a scuff plate and larger 22-inch wheels. For your new Defender, you can buy something called an Activity Key. This, basically, is a wristwatch that is both water- and shock-proof It’s able to remotely lock, unlock and even start your car. Another snazzy extra you can specify is a remote-control winch. With this, your Defender can pull up to 4,500kg with 40 metres of rope. You can even operate it from up to 45 metres away from the car.

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