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2020 Land Rover Defender gets active air suspension

The Land Rover Defender will be heavily updated when it makes its 2020 re-debut, and will include tonnes of new features lacking on previous models, like an active air suspension system.

Top Gear recently had the chance to check out the new Defender prototype, and one of the most important upgrades available on the truck is an optional active air suspension.

Besides being height-adjustable, the setup is also more off-road-capable than a traditional coil-spring suspension.

One of the big goals for the new Defender was to make it more composed on the road than any previous generation.

“The air system actively monitors temperature in the dampers and protects the vehicle by changing the parameters of the suspension as you’re driving,” says Andy Deeks, Defender’s durability and reliability program boss.

Land Rovers have typically been made to handle any terrain, and this time the brand is proving it by testing 200 new prototypes all around the world in various climates. To make matters worse (or better, for buyers) Land Rover has also strapped the Defender to a machine that shakes it for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for two months straight, to simulate 10 years of wear.

“To be a global car you need lots of different benchmarks, because what the Middle East market considers to be the benchmark car is different to America, Europe, China… The old Defender is tough, because it’s uncomfortable to drive quick,” says Deeks.

“Whereas this thing is very comfortable to drive quickly. And as a result, it’s been designed to be super durable and robust.”

The 2020 Defender will be offered in three traditional wheelbases, 90, 110, and 130, with each being available with six different powertrains.