2020 Land Rover Defender Reveal & First Look

10 Sep 2019 06:08 113
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It's back in the USA! Say hello to the 2020 Land Rover Defender, revealed today at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In this video, Mark Takahashi takes a close look at the next generation of this iconic nameplate.

About the 2020 Land Rover Defender

After 40 years, the Defender has finally received a full makeover and here's the best part: It will be offered in the U.S. When the new Land Rover Defender goes on sale in the spring, it will be offered in the larger Defender 110 variant. The smaller Defender 90 will follow it to market later in the year.

There will also be two engine choices. The 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 will come with the base P300 engine: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (296 hp, 295 lb-ft), which Land Rover estimates will get the vehicle to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. Shoppers can opt for the P400 mild hybrid powertrain (395 hp, 406 lb-ft) made up of a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder paired with a 48-volt electrical system that is fed by lithium-ion battery packs, which also power an electric supercharger. It should hit 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds. The Defender 90 will only be offered with the P400 engine.

Both powertrains are combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a twin-speed transfer case, permanent four-wheel-drive and Land Rover's Terrain Response system. Optional locking center and active locking rear differentials will be offered, along with the latest configurable Terrain Response 2 system.

Perhaps as impressive (or alarming) is the Defender's weight. The Defender 90 and 110 with the four-cylinder should tip the scales at over 4,800 pounds. Properly equipped, the Defender will have a maximum tow rating of 8,201 pounds.

As far as styling goes, the new Land Rover Defender is more rounded and smoothed over. At least from initial impressions, it's missing the brawn and brutality of its forebear. At the same time, it's still recognizable as a Defender, but we admit it looks a little too soft for our tastes. At least the short overhangs are present, allowing for a 38-degree maximum approach angle and a 40-degree departure angle.

For the interior, the same theme continues, though with some touches like beefy grab handles that give it some character. Sitting atop the center of the dash is Land Rover's new PIVI Pro infotainment system that promises quicker responses and fewer operational steps than the rage-inducing system in current Land Rovers. Unfortunately, one of the previous Defender's traits did not make it into the redesign. The sealed switches are gone, meaning you can no longer just hose out the interior after a long dusty day. The carpeting, however, will be capable of quick removal for cleaning and drying.

We've been awaiting the 2020 Land Rover Defender for quite some time, and we're confident it will have the kind of off-road prowess of its predecessor. We're also sure it will be more comfortable and practical, but wish that the design projected more strength and rugged presence.

Read more about the Land Rover Defender: https://www.edmunds.com/land-rover/defender/2020/

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