In my opinion, there is no other vehicle that epitomizes the word “adventure” more than the Land Rover Defender. It is a vehicle that not only looks the part, but has the chops to back it up in the field. Over the course of its 35+ year lifespan it has been used on countless expeditions, overlanding excursions, and backcountry adventures, with its silhouette becoming a familiar one with anyone who has spent time in some of the more remote corners of the globe.
Back in 2016, the Defender was put out to pasture with Land Rover promising to deliver a new model that would be updated to meet modern performance and technology expectations. Since that time, fans of the old model have been waiting patiently, albeit with a bit of bated breath, for the next generation model to arrive. Today, that wait came to an end at long last with the unveiling of the modern Defender, a vehicle that pays homage to its legendary past, while firmly stepping forward into the 21st century at the same time.
The new Defender will be available in both a “90” version and a “110”, but unlike the originals those designations are no longer tied to the wheelbase of the vehicles. Instead, they are a salute to their heritage, although the 90 does remain a two-door model, while the 110 is a four-door. Engine options include a standard 296 horsepower, 295 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine, as well as a 395 horsepower 406 lb-ft mild-hybrid inline-six. Diesel and plug-in hybrid models are in the works for further down the road too.
Land Rover has given the Defender an 8-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive built to handle just about any kind of terrain. A locking center differential is part of the package as well, and the vehicle also includes an “Active Rear and Locking Differential” too. An air suspension system is part of the package as well and the body has been designed for good approach and departure angles when used on rugged terrain.
As you would expect, there are also a host of options for configuring your Defender as well, the ability to add “packs” based on individual needs. For example, the Exploration Pack offers a roof rack and side gear storage, while the Adventure Pack includes a built-in compressor and rinse kit. Urban and Country Packs bring similar options for those who aren’t likely to take their Defenders too far from the road. The are just the tip of the ice berg however, as you’ll be able to configure your new Defender to your hearts content, adding all kinds of add-ons to make it stand out in terms of performance and looks.
Speaking of looks, I happen to think the new Defender is gorgeous. I like the subtle nods to previous generations, mixed in with a design aesthetic that is modern and fresh. The colors that I’ve seen so far only help to enhance that feeling, with outstanding and bold hues to choose from. The great looks extend to the interior as well, which includes all of the tech features you would expect from Land Rover/Range Rover.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will go on sale in the U.S. sometime next year with a starting point of $49,900. That’s exciting news for fans of the vehicle, as you haven’t been able to buy one in the States since the mid-1990s. Those who have always dreamed of owning a Defender will have to be patient a bit longer, but it looks like Land Rover has delivered an outstanding vehicle that derives to bear the Defender name.
Personally, I can’t wait to see one in person and hopefully take one for a drive down the line. It looks like just the kind of vehicle I’d love to own.
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