7 things we can expect from the 2020 Land Rover Defender
The 2020 Land Rover Defender is being billed as the most capable off-roader ever…here are 7 things we can expect from the new Defender when it’s revealed later this year.
The all-new Land Rover Defender will have its camouflage removed and be revealed to the world this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Easily one of the most anticipated vehicles of the year Land Rover has hinted that the new Defender will be as appealing to those who like driving off-road as it will be to those cruising around town to find the best latte.
Camouflaged photographs of the new Defender have washed across the Internet with Land Rover itself carefully stage-managing the drip-feed of photos, information and even hashtags to follow. While the British car maker has released photos and videos of the thing driving around Africa and beyond, it has been careful not to release anything too meaty.
Well, we’ve scoured photographs and videos, spoken to those who know about the new Defender and we reckon we’ve got a pretty good idea of what we can expect. Here goes.
A body to suit all…
The new Defender, from the off, will be offered in three different body styles with more to come, they will be a stripped-out three-door for those wanting something rugged and no-frills, a three- and five-door passenger variant. Following that, we’ll likely see a utility and a more rugged five-door. In terms of sizing, expect the three-door to be very close in dimensions to the old Defender 90 and the five-door to be similar to that of the 110.
Practicality is the name of the game
Land Rover wants the new Defender to be just about all things to all people, indeed, the company has previously said it expects the Defender to be a volume seller for the brand in the same way that Discovery Sport has performed. Indeed, from what we hear, there’s potential for the new Defender to even woo away buyers of either the Discovery Sport and possibly even Evoque, but back to the practicality.
As we’ve seen with the new Wrangler and its factory-fit rail system, the new Defender will be offered with off-the-shelf racking systems, storage solutions and even refrigeration. And you can expect Land Rover to follow other car makers and try and keep as much of the usual after-market-developed bolt-on stuff by offering its own stuff for the Defender.
The off-road king?
Land Rover is hinting the new Defender will be the most capable production off-roader on the planet and it might well be true. As you can see from the photos and videos of the pre-production car, the new Defender has very short, front and rear overhangs and gets independent suspension, it will likely be offered with both steel springs and air suspension for up to 280mm of ground clearance. You’ll have also no doubt noticed the spare wheel on the tailgate which means the tailgate will be side-hinged like the old Discovery. Indeed, the new Defender very much looks like a tidied-up Discovery 4. And while Land Rover calls it a new platform we know the new Defender shares much of its underpinnings with the new Discovery.
While the head-lights are largely hidden, we can speculate that Land Rover’s automatic headlights will be available allowing not just for a cool light signature but also for active use of high-beam lights while driving in traffic, lighting up sections of the road without dazzling surrounding or oncoming vehicles.
The new Defender’s interior is likely to be a mixture of old- meets new-school with some retro hints. We’d expect plenty of solid, easy clean materials on the inside, like rubber and thick, heavy duty leather, and possibly even, depending on the variant hose- or sweep-out foot-wells like the original Nissan X-Trail and Jeep Wrangler. But it won’t all be hard-wearing stuff, as you can see in the picture of the short-wheelbase Defender, there will be a head-up display and likely Land Rover’s dual-screens on the inside as well as a digital instrument cluster.
What about the engines?
Well, not much is known about the specific engine line-up but given Land Rover’s current crop of engines you can expect the new Defender to be offered with a mixture of four-cylinder petrol and diesel and even six-cylinder grunt. While a plug-in hybrid is a possibility, 48-volt mild-hybrid is a definite as it is with the new Evoque.
As you can see in the picture of the short-wheelbase Defender (above and main) not only does it reveal a head-up display unit but you can clearly see the cameras and sensors at the top of the windscreen for advanced active safety features like autonomous emergency braking and more. Indeed, Land Rover executives have said they expect the new Defender, unlike other rugged off-roaders, like the poor-performing Jeep Wrangler, to be as safe for occupants as it will be for other motorists and pedestrians.