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Land Rover Delays Defender 90 Until 2021 Due To COVID-Induced Production Issues

Land Rover has delayed the launch of the three-door Defender 90 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jaguar Land Rover’s factory in Nitra, Slovakia is responsible for handling production of the Defender for all global markets, but is currently running just one shift while trying to fill a backlog of more than 20,000 Defender orders.

A small notice on the Land Rover website states that “Defender 90 production and first customer deliveries have been delayed as a result COVID-19 related supply chain constraints. Please contact your local retailer to place an order for Defender 90 and timing of deliveries.”

In a statement issued to Auto News, Land Rover spokesman Joseph Stauble added to this by confirming the Defender 90 “is not available as a Model Year 2020. It will be launched as a Model Year 2021, expected to be in market early 2021.”

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It seems likely that Land Rover has delayed the launch of the short-wheelbase Defender as it has far more orders for the four-door Defender 110. Stauble didn’t give a specific date as for when the Defender 90 will land.

The Defender 90 and the Defender 110 won’t be the only variants on offer. One month ago, the British car manufacturer showcased the Defender ‘Hard Top’, which is designed as a commercial variant. This model will be offered in both 90 and 110 forms but probably won’t reach the hands of customers until deliveries of the regular Defender 90 are well underway.

Land Rover is also developing a flagship Defender with a V8 engine. This model will directly rival the Mercedes-AMG G 63 and pack a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with up to 500 hp.