Land Rover has finally taken the wraps off the 2020 Defender, formally releasing a returned legend. As expected, this Defender is an ultra-modern redux that still pays homage to the original.
Let’s start with the Defender’s design. It will be offered in Defender 90 (two-door) and Defender 110 (four-door) flavors. Both feature an overall shape that honors the Defender tradition; their boxy with an overall rugged appearance. That said, Land Rover has softened nearly every edge and corner of this design so that the Defender isn’t too much of an anomaly within its showroom.
From a size perspective, the Defender is larger than the Jeep Wrangler in just about ever dimension.
Enthusiasts will be keen to understand the hardware under the skin of this Defender. Basically Land Rover has thrown its top-end suspension bits under the Defender. There’s a fully-independent suspension system and Land Rover’s full-time all-wheel-drive system. An active locking rear differential and manually locking center differential are also offered. The electronic suspension system can also raise the Defender’s ground clearance from 8.5 inches to 11.5 inches.
Powering the base Defender will be Land Rover’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four making 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This engine is only offered on the Defender 110, while the Defender 90 will come standard with a 48-volt mild-hybrid turbocharged inline-six as found in the Range Rover, and it makes 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are bolted to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Both bodystyles of Defender to tow up to 8,200 pounds.
Inside, the Defender is fairly simple versus its showroom brethren. It features a large amount of shelf space for storage as well as integrated grab handles, all necessities for off-roading. Land Rover says the Defender will also be offered with an optional front bench seat, which is large enough to seat six in a jam. The larger Defender 110 will also feature an optional third row of seats.
The Land Rover Defender will arrive in the U.S. in spring of 2020. Initially only the Defender 110 will arrive with a base price of $50,925 with the four-cylinder engine, while the optional six will drive the price up to $63,275. The two-door Defender 90 will arrive in the U.S. later.