Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender was certainly the most loved model within the entire Land Rover line and enjoyed a 65-year production lifespan until its final version launched in 2016 … but then, the resurrection! Land Rover thrilled enthusiasts with the announcement that a new 2020 model of the classic would be forthcoming – and that it would even be able in North America.
Historically speaking, the Land Rover Defender was an evolutionary step from the original Land Rovers built way back in 1948. The Defender debuted in the UK, US and Europe in 1983, but went by make and model number, i.e. the Land Rover 110. For 1991, however, Land Rover introduced a new model replete with spiffy new turbodiesel engine – and a proper brand mame: the Land Rover Discovery.
Thus was the traditional Land Rover rebranded as the Land Rover Defender. In classic rose-by-any-other-name fashion, the Defender remained Land Rover’s top-selling model and stayed in production until the last to come off the assembly line, with the 2016 model the final old Defender.
Given the outstanding popularity of Land Rovers on both sides of the Atlantic, the decision to resurrect the model soon after the line’s demise in late 2019 was hardly surprising. The special edition 2020 Land Rover Defender goes by the model number L663, as opposed to the old series now called the L316s. The good news for aficionados in North America is that the 2020 model has been approved for sale in the U.S. and Canada, thus becoming the first Land Rover to be available in these countries since the late 1990s.
The touts: High-tech freedom of choice
Company PR is pushing the durability aspect of the new Defenders first and foremost, which is a good gambit in two ways: Appeal to the off-road adventurer and defiance of critics who cannot realistically test the durability of a single vehicle in a review which presumably carries a deadline. No matter; let’s just hope the promises are valid here.
To further expand upon the immediate appeal of the Defender, dealers are offering four “expansion packs” comprised of technology specific to the sub-model: Defenders may be outfitted with the “Adventure”, “County”, “Explorer” and “Urban” “packs.”
“All-terrain response” is something as a catchphrase among the vehicles Land Rover has inspired over 70 years, but the new Defender applies high-tech to the standard with an innovative “configurable terrain response” which allows the driver to ready the Defender’s systems for the upcoming route – a kind of heads-up for the ’Rover.
The 2020 Defender: Instant classic or generic SUV?
Early reviews on the 2020 Defender have been positive to enthusiastic, particularly on the U.S. side, where a new Land Rover hasn’t been seen commercially for 25 years. Motor Trend gushed about “the beautifully executed surfacing and carefully considered detailing … means the new Defender looks stunningly contemporary yet endearingly timeless, an instant design classic.”
By contrast, Jalopnik recalled Land Rover’s experiment of 2008, the DC100, a sort of combination SUV/convertible roadster. While denying that the 2020 Defender is merely an update of the 10-year-old concept car, the reviewer did opine that “it suffers from the same forgettability that dogs the current Discovery. Without stickers and ladders and roof racks bolted to it, it’s not going to be hard to mistake it for Any Other SUV. It’s sleek, sure, but, it really leans on accessories to advertise its character…”
To read more takes on the 2020 Land Rover Defender and its potential follow-up models plus lots more news, views and commentary, stay tuned to this page of mediaLandRover.com!
Appearing to mirror the Jeep Wrangler's powertrain release strategy, Land Rover has introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the Defender before we get that sweet rumored V8Source: msn.com
Land Rover's modern Defender only landed in June, arriving as a 2020 model and in four-door Defender 110 guise onlySource: motorauthority.com
While once the idea of a Defender with a battery and a plug might have seemed laughable, now it's sure to be a hit amongst those who fancy LandSource: completecar.ie
Land Rover has introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the new Defender, which combines 27 miles of pure electric driving with 404hp and 0-62mph in 5.6 secondsSource: motoringresearch.com
The first Land Rover Defender models are now starting to trickle out to US customers, which means they should start becoming a more common sight on roadsSource: msn.com
Available in three-door, short-wheelbase Defender 90 and five-door, long-wheelbase Defender 110 bodystyles, Hard Top models eschew rear passenger seats for greater cargo capacity, while retaining theSource: autocar.co.uk
The new Land Rover Defender Hard Top commercial vehicle is now on sale in the UK, with the manufacturer confirming full specifications and pricing for both the 90 and 110Source: carbuyer.co.uk
The first plug-in hybrid Land Rover Defender will go on sale next year with a 398bhp powertrain capable of 27 miles of electric-only running and the promise thatSource: autocar.co.uk
The Land Rover Defender has been updated for the 2021 model year and in Europe, is now offered with an all-new plug-in hybrid powertrainSource: carscoops.com
The new Land Rover Defender officially launched in South Africa late in July 2020Source: carmag.co.za
The launch of the new Land Rover Defender puts the future of the Discovery in doubtSource: motoringresearch.com
Texas-based Twisted Automotive has revived the retro off-roader with serious V8 power, a decadent interior and a sharp new chassisSource: motoring.com.au
Jaguar Land Rover bailout talks with government crumble as outgoing boss Sir Ralf Speth's pay tops £4.4m
Jaguar Land Rover has ended talks with the government over bail-out cash as it’s revealed outgoing chief executive Sir Ralf Speth’s pay packet has risen to £4Source: cardealermagazine.co.uk
More details have emerged about the long-running Defender design battle that Jaguar Land Rover eventually lost against chemicals company IneosSource: cardealermagazine.co.uk
Jaguar Land Rover last week officially lost its UK court bid to secure the trademark rights for the shape of its old Defender 4x4, allowing Ineos Automotive, an offshoot ofSource: autocar.co.uk
Some things are too obvious not to point out. For example, the INEOS Grenadier shares more than a little of its looks with an old-school Land Rover DefenderSource: msn.com
Spied by our photographers, the prototype also featured red brake calipers, suggesting perhaps that these have been upgraded over the regular models for improved stopping powerSource: carscoops.com
A Land Rover Defender 110 comprehensively modified by the Chelsea Truck Company is currently up for sale from Kahn Automobiles with a £49,999 (~$65,000) price tagSource: carscoops.com
The Defender, which draws its direct line of evolution to the original Mk1 ladder-framed vehicle released in 1948, built a loyal following among farmers and enthusiasts only to seeSource: wardsauto.com
When the head of petrochemical giant Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, set out to produce his own version of the old Land Rover Defender, he faced one pesky problem: Trademark and designSource: autoweek.com
Land Rover has lost a landmark court case, in which it sought to protect the shape and styling of its original Defender model as intellectual propertySource: irishtimes.com
Quick: Think of an SUVSource: autoblog.com
Jaguar Land Rover has lost a court case in the UK that would have stopped development of the Ineos Grenadier in its tracksSource: carsguide.com.au
In 2021, a new off-road machine will go on saleSource: wheels24.co.za
Jaguar Land Rover has lost a court battle in the UK to get the trademark rights for the shape of the original Defender, allowing Ineos Group to go ahead andSource: carscoops.com