New photos of the 2020 Land Rover Defender off-roading in Kenya have been revealed. Here’s everything you need to know about this upcoming all-terrain 4×4.
2020 Land Rover Defender
a boxy, offroad-ready body and sturdy ladder chassis
Price and release date
around £35,000; 2020
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2020 Land Rover Defender latest news
New photos of the 2020 Land Rover Defender have been unveiled, this time showing the car – an alternative to such 4x4s as the Toyota Landcruiser – among exotic wildlife in a conservation park in Kenya. The pictures depict a camouflaged model that was provided to the British charity Tusk Trust, which protects endangered species in Africa.
The Defender seen here is ever-so-slightly different from other prototypes we’ve seen in prior images. This time, concealed in a new wrap, the car has been given a snorkel – presumably so that it can wade through rivers as it trails and tracks an array of African fauna. All the same, the SUV remains clearly inspired by Land Rover’s earlier DC100: a similarly boxy-looking concept car first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Kenyan shots come less than a month after the 2020 Land Rover Defender last made the news. It was previously seen as a product placement photographed beside Prince Harry as part of the build-up to the 2020 Invictus Games.
2020 Land Rover Defender styling
The original Land Rover Defender was famous for its boxy shape and rugged, off-road-centric build. The 2020 relaunch of the classic SUV looks like it will retain these qualities, although it won’t be anywhere near as utilitarian. While the older Defender had a near-upright windscreen, alongside exterior details like roof guttering and exposed door hinges, the new one seems slightly sleeker. The sides and doors aren’t as perfectly flat as a shed any more, while the front is clearly more rounded.
The camouflage wrapping of the new car also suggests that it will get gills behind the front wheels. If this is indeed the case, it would bring the 2020 Land Rover Defender in line with the rest of the manufacturer’s current range.
The new Defender adopts the same wheel-at-each-corner layout as its predecessor, ensuring that the car can climb and descend seriously steep gradients and navigate harsh terrain as easily as possible. The rear-mounted spare wheel carries over, too.
2020 Land Rover price and release date
Once it is released, the main alternative to the 2020 Land Rover Defender will be the Toyota Landcruiser, which starts at around £35,000. Because of this, you can expect the new Defender to cost approximately the same amount. Other offroad-inclined SUVs currently available include the Suzuki Jimny and Mercedes G-Class, although these cars are either much cheaper or much dearer.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender is expected to go on sale next year.
2020 Land Rover Defender specs
Every part of the 2020 Land Rover Defender will be developed with tough off-roading in mind. That will start from the ground up, with a solid ladder chassis that will make the Defender heavy, but also allow it to bounce off boulders that would cripple a Nissan Qashqai. A ladder chassis would also make the Defender strong enough to pull huge loads. The old car was loved by UK police because it could haul a stranded articulated lorry off the motorway even if it was fully loaded.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will 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 lights. Improving on 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. Happily, you can expect the old car’s confusing combination of manually selected differentials and low-range gears to be swapped for a straightforward Terrain Response selector. This will set the car up for a variety of off-road conditions – such as sand, snow and mud – automatically.
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 2020 Land Rover Defender. Plus, both manual and automatic gearbox options should be available. A hybrid is also expected. It will use a petrol engine alongside an electric motor to likely offer 31 miles of electric-only power.
The old Land Rover Defender was, at best, a terrible road car, especially if you had just stepped out of a modern family cruiser with safe and predictable road handling. The 2020 model should be a huge improvement, with suspension that won’t suffer from horrendous body roll in bends and sophisticated stability control systems that will stop you losing control of the car during evasive manoeuvres.
2020 Land Rover Defender interior
An image showing the interior of the new 2020 Land Rover Defender was leaked onto Twitter, showing the seismic leap its cabin has taken compared with the agricultural old model.
In the 2020 Land Rover Defender, you will get two infotainment screens: one in the centre of the dash and another that sits behind the steering wheel in place of conventional dials. You will be able to use them to control pretty much all of the car’s systems, from the stereo to the four-wheel drive. What they will also likely do is visualise the car’s four-wheel-drive system, allowing you to set up the car perfectly for the kind of off-road conditions it has been built for.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will also get the Clear Sight Ground View system previously fitted to the Range Rover Evoque. This system provides an augmented view of the ground below the front of the car, allowing you to steer its wheels around obstacles.
If the infotainment screens don’t stand out to you then the jump in build quality will. Even from this single leaked picture, it is clear that the 2020 Land Rover Defender will shy away from the brittle plastics that the old model was famed for. And – if the green tinge of this car is anything to go by – you should also be able to choose from a range of colour finishes.
Finally, if the ‘stop’ and ‘go’ pedals are anything to go by, it’s clear that someone at Land Rover has a sense of humour; it’s also interesting to note the 7,000rpm rev-counter, indicating that the Defender will be offered with a high-revving petrol engine.
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