2020 Land Rover Defender Leaked … by Land Rover

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Hoping to generate some buzz ahead of its reveal, Land Rover released an incomplete, low-resolution side-on image of the upcoming, reborn Defender on Tuesday. The model, which disappeared from European dealers after its aging body was declared a danger to modern pedestrians, will return next year as a 2020 model. Apparently, it will hold on to its beloved boxy shape, as anything less would inspire French-style street protests on United Kingdom carriageways.

Also, unlike the last Defender, this one’s coming to America.

As reported by Automotive News last April, Jaguar Land Rover’s U.S. chief, Joe Eberhardt, uttered, “We’ve said it’s a global vehicle. The United States is on the globe,” in response to questions regarding the model’s U.S. availability. Given that this teaser comes by way of JLR’s American arm, suffice it to say you’ll see them here.

The automaker discontinued the long-running Defender in early 2016, the result of updated European pedestrian crash tests the model didn’t have a hope in hell of passing. Apparently, bricks don’t provide much buffering. Americans last saw new Defenders, offered in two wheelbases, in 1974.

Still, despite a slew of new product from the automaker, including the new Range Rover Velar, the Defender’s link to the first Land Rover model of 1948 ensured an outcry after its death. The company soon started work on a replacement. The new model, besides conforming to crash regulations, will also have to abide by strict emissions regulations. That makes weight a factor. It’s expected that the next-generation model — offered, as before, in two wheelbases — will shed pounds through extensive use of aluminum. JLR’s line of Ingenium engines is standing by to provide power, and designers have surely put some sandpaper to the model’s rough edges in pursuit of a better drag coefficient figure.

As the image provided shows, it seems we’ll learn more about this vehicle immediately after Christmas. December 27th is the date provided, meaning the tweed crowd can keep their holiday celebrations going a little longer.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Dec 19, 2018

    "unlike the last Defender, this one’s coming to America." ... "Americans last saw new Defenders, offered in two wheelbases, in 1974." And as others point out, it was sold between 1993-1997 in the USA, when safety legislation forced it off. Editor?

  • El scotto El scotto on Dec 19, 2018

    Th old Defender was a Brit Jeep with an aluminium body. Land cruisers replaced them in places were buying automatic weapons is easy and/or wild animals might eat you. Jeeps won the sales race in North America. In the Auld Country, Defenders were used as trucks (lorries). They are/were slightly more sophisticated than the tractor used by its farmer-owner. They were also only a wee bit faster than a tractor. Hopefully the New Defender will have a great deal less NVH and great deal more speed. Rich suburban women will want these. If all else fails, they can hire Clarkson as a spokesman.

  • Alan Like all testing and analysis work you need a good set of requirements. If you don't you'll find or end up with gaps.
  • Alan In aviation there is more vigourous testing, well, until Boeing changed things.
  • Alan This outcome was certain.The US, Australia and Canada need to approach this differently. A policy towards plug in hybrids should of been a first step. As in CAFE gradually tighten FE from there.There's no reason why you can't have a 2 litre F-150 with electric motors putting out 400-500hp. A 2 litre turbo is good for 200hp more than enough to move a pickup.Also increase fuel tax/excise every year to fill the void in loss of revenue.
  • Doug brockman hardly. Their goals remain to punish us by mandating unsafe unreliable unaffordable battery powered cars
  • Lorenzo It looks like the curves are out and the boxy look is back. There's an upright windscreen, a decided lack of view obstructing swoop in the rear side panels, and you can even see out of the back window. Is Lexus borrowing from the G-Class Mercedes, or the Range Rover?