Land Rover Commits Defender To ’19 Launch, ’20 Delivery

by under News on 28 Dec 2018 12:57:43 PM28 Dec 2018

The #Best4x4XFar arrives State-side for more testing.

2020 Land Rover Defender – Prototype Off-Roading

With prototype testing well underway and anticipation higher than ever, Land Rover’s decided it prudent to let some air out of the Defender hype bag, and silence a great amount of speculation (like the buzz we reported from Motoring saying it’d be here before Christmas).

The new Defender has been confirmed for a 2019 launch, with deliveries in North America set to begin in 2020. This was said directly, without question or pause, by Jaguar-Land Rover North America’s marketing boss, Kim McCullough. 

2020 Land Rover Defender – Prototype Off-Roading
“There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country, and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle. On behalf of Land Rover, we are proud to announce the voices of American & Canadian customers have been heard: The all new Defender will be on sale here starting in 2020. This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hit of what’s to come in the new year.” — Kim McCullough, Vice President (Marketing), Jaguar-Land Rover North America

Judging by the ardent insistence that the car will be on sale in 2020, we’re going to assume that the Defender will be making a late-2019 debut, rather than one right around the corner. However when it does finally break cover, there’ll be quite a number of things that ardent Defender defenders (cough) will have to get their heads round.

2020 Land Rover Defender – Prototype Off-Roading

It’s binned the ladder-frame construction in favour of a monocoque construction, utilising the same D7u platform as used in the Discovery & Range Rover, albeit with significant structural strengthening. This should also help the Defender avoid a paltry & disappointing showing with the safety regulators, unlike the Jeep Wrangler that was given just 1-star from EuroNCAP (which is basically a token for trying, really).

This means that the Defender will benefit from the new range of 48V mild-hybrid powertrains that debuted with the new Range Rover Evoque, and provide accommodation for plug-in hybrid and pure-electric powertrains sometime after the launch. All powertrains (sans the electric one) will make use of an Ingenium 4-pot in either petrol or diesel guises, though it’s suggested that the 3.0-litre straight-six could feature too.

2020 Land Rover Defender – Prototype Off-Roading

The Defender will be available in 90-, 110-, and 130-inch wheelbases (just like the old car), and will be offered in 3- and 5-door guises as before. However, it’s unclear if a ute body style will make a return for the new-generation Defender, though we certainly hope it will. We’re made to understand that prototype Defenders are currently testing on public-roads in the UK, as well as in Arjeplog, Sweden (for ultra-cold weather) and Death Valley, USA (for ultra-hot weather).

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