2020 Land Rover Defender Reborn As A Modern 4x4 With Advanced Tech
Land Rover has just unveiled its all-new Defender at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, breathing new life into a legendary nameplate that can now stand toe to toe with the world’s most technologically-advanced off-roaders.
Based on the new D7x architecture, the new Defender will launch in spring 2020 in Defender 110 configuration available with 5+2 seating in four distinct Accessory Packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. It will be joined later in 2020 on by the short-wheelbase Defender 90 and the Commercial model.
The automaker claims the 2020 Defender is the toughest and most capable Land Rover vehicle yet as it combines a new body structure with all-new technologies and proven hardware to make the nameplate fit for the 21st century.
A modern Defender in every way, looks included
Styling-wise, the new model is unmistakably a Defender, albeit one that has undergone a complete overhaul inside and out. It features minimal front and rear overhangs and high sills for excellent approach and departure angles, an upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, side-hinged rear tailgate, and externally-mounted spare wheel.
It may be modern but the 2020 Defender looks tough at the same time thanks to the sculptured fenders on top of the square wheel arches and strong shoulders. It also looks more upscale than its illustrious predecessor and that impression is stressed by the new LED headlights and vertical taillights.
Land Rover offers a choice of 12 wheel designs, ranging from 18-inch white-painted pressed steel rims to 22-inch Luna alloys. The exterior color palette includes three new metallic shades unique to the Defender (Tasman Blue, Pangea Green and Gondwana Stone) that join Fuji White, Eiger Grey, Santorini Black, and Indus Silver.
A revolution inside
Inside, the 2020 Defender is a radical departure from its predecessor as it features a high-tech dashboard featuring a digital instrument panel, a central touchscreen, and a head-up display powered by the next-generation Land Rover Electronic Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) which supports Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates. There’s a minimal number of physical buttons on the center console and on the steering wheel as most functions are handled by the infotainment system.
The cabin integrates structural parts of the bodywork in a harmonious way and that contributes to a rugged appearance. There’s an abundance of storage opportunities, according to Land Rover, including a choice of center consoles. A practicality highlight is the Front Row Center Seat (known as a jump seat) that is standard on the First Edition Defender 90 and optional on the Defender 110.
It allows three people to travel on the front row, which means the Defender 110 can be had with five, six or 5+2 seating while the Defender 90 can accommodate six occupants. When not in use, the seat back folds down to provide a front armrest and additional storage — including two additional cupholders. The Defender 90 will also offer the option of a full-length Folding Fabric roof for open-top driving.
Customers will be able to choose from three interior color combinations and different interior finish options. Material choices include Resolve textile on standard models while ‘S’ and ‘SE’ trims feature Grained Leather combined with a durable Robust Woven Textile featuring higher Decitex fibers for added strength in areas subjected to the most wear.
‘HSE’ models bring high grade Windsor Leather, while the Defender X features Windsor Leather in combination with Steelcut Premium Textile accent for enhanced durability. There’s also a wide choice of veneers and finishes, including rugged rough-cut Walnut or Natural Smoked Dark Oak Veneer.
Ground clearance of 291 mm (11.5 inches) and impressive off-road stats
A Defender has to be very capable off the beaten track and Land Rover says it accomplished that thanks to the all-aluminum D7x platform. It allows for a ground clearance of 291 mm (11.5 in) and approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (in Off-Road height with tow eye cover removed), respectively for the Defender 110. The maximum wading depth is also impressive at 900mm (35.4-in).
The lightweight all-aluminum monocoque construction of the new D7x platform also results in the stiffest Land Rover body ever created — three times more rigid than traditional body-on-frame designs. This provides a great basis for the fully-independent suspension, twin-speed transfer box and permanent four-wheel drive. The strong body architecture also enhances towing capability, with the 2020 Defender boasting a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 lbs (3,720 kg).
The 2020 Defender marks the debut of Configurable Terrain Response, a system that allows drivers to fine-tune the set-up of the vehicle to suit the off-road conditions. Off-road tech also includes Center Slip Limited and Center and Rear Slip Limited options that can be activated using the central touchscreen controller, Wade Sensing, Land Rover All-Terrain Progress Control, and ClearSight Ground View.
Furthermore, the new Defender offers a choice of three settings for the throttle and gearbox response, steering and traction control.
Up to 395 HP with the P400 mild-hybrid six-cylinder powertrain
In the U.S., customers will be able to choose from two powertrains: a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine badged P300 and a six-cylinder Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain, badged P400. The 2.0-liter turbo-four in the P300 produces 296 hp (300 PS) and enables a 0-60 mph time of 7.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds).
The 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine features both a twin-scroll turbocharger and a 48-volt electric supercharger to provide 395 hp (400 PS) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds). Both engines are linked to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and twin-speed transfer box.
Europe and other markets will also get the 2020 Defender with two diesel engines. Both have a displacement of 2.0 liters and deliver 197 hp (200 PS) in the D200 and 237 hp (240 PS) in the D240. A plug-in hybrid powertrain will join the range next year.
Available driving assistance systems include Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Pre-Collision Monitor, Rear Traffic Monitor, Clear Exit Monitor, Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Condition Monitor, as well as front and rear Parking Aids.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will be available in Defender, Defender S, Defender SE, Defender HSE, Defender X and Defender First Edition trims. Prices start from $49,900 in the U.S. for the Defender 110 P300 and £45,240 in the UK for the Defender 110 D200. The Defender 90 is expected to start at around £40,000.