Land Rover Defender
Long-awaited successor to Land Rover’s off-road icon will evolve into a new family of tough SUVS and pick-ups On sale Summer 2020 Price from £40,000 (est)
Diverse family of 4x4s will arrive in 2020
IN JANUARY 2016, the last Defender rolled off Land Rover’s production line at Solihull, bringing an end to the iconic off-roader almost 67 years after the Series I Land Rover on which it was based went on sale. It won’t be gone for long, however, because an all-new Defender is arriving in 2020.
The new car’s styling is a closely guarded secret – Land Rover is very wary of showing concept cars for fear of the design being copied – but the biggest clue so far came with the DC100 concept in 2011. Originally intended to show how a new, low-cost Defender model could look, the project was canned because public reaction to the car was very poor. That reaction delayed Land Rover’s plans for a new Defender as its designers returned to the drawing board.
Another reason for the delay was that the existing Defender, being a niche vehicle, was never a big seller.to make its successor viable, Land Rover is understood to be targeting annual sales of around 100,000 cars, so it will be necessary to offer buyers a choice of models, creating a Defender family with different bodystyles.
As well as the traditional short and long-wheelbase versions with three or ve doors, there are plans for a pick-up, an even smaller SUV and numerous trim levels that will prioritise either everyday road use or hardcore off-roading. Premium and performance versions are also planned.
The new Defender will sit on a strengthened version of the aluminium platform that underpins the current Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery.
Engines will come from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium petrol and diesel line-up. Among the likely candidates is the 2.0-litre diesel we recommend in the Discovery Sport. A V6 diesel will also be offered.
The Defender is expected to remain one of the most capable off-roaders around. It will be offered with the latest off-road technology, including multiple cameras and an evolution of the All-terrain Progress Control system (essentially off-road cruise control) found in the latest Discovery.
Entry-level Defenders are expected to cost around £40,000 and rival the Toyota Land Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler, but high-end versions could cost more than £70,000.
Prototypes have been spotted testing on British roads