By Daniel Colson – in Car and Driver
The re-imagined SUV to go on sale in 2020 after debuting next year. Watch video below
Dec. 27, 2018 – At the beginning 0f 2016, after 68 years of production, the final Land Rover Defender(which succeeded the Series I, II, and III) rolled off the assembly line in Solihull, England. But well before that happened, we knew that Land Rover was working on a successor to the iconic model.
Now, following multiple concepts, years of speculation, and a bunch of spy photos, Land Rover has finally, officially announced: the all-new Defender will be revealed at some point in 2019.
Even bigger news: Land Rover also confirmed that the new Defender will be sold in the United States, making it the first Defender to be officially sold here since 1997. (The SUV will be sold in Canada, too.)
But like with the hazy reveal date, Land Rover has said nothing about the on-sale date of the new Defender besides saying it will be available in 2020. In fact, Land Rover gives almost no details about the new Defender, aside from saying it will be a “revolutionary product” with a much larger appeal than the old models, and that it will have all the driver-assistance and tech features that customers expect from a modern vehicle.
2020-Land Rover Defender, photo credit Car and Driver
Land Rover does say that the company began conducting on- and off-road development testing of the new model throughout North America earlier this month, with the SUV being tested in temperatures from -40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and at altitudes of over 13,000 feet.
Seemingly assuaging fears that the new Defender’s unibody platform and independent front and rear suspension will hamper it off-road when compared to its go-anywhere predecessor, the company insists that the new Defender will be “the most off-road capable Land Rover vehicle ever.”
To go along with the testing announcement, Land Rover released photos of a new Defender in camouflage in both an off-road environment and in New York City. We can see a few additional details not present in previous spy photos, like vents on the front fenders and a rear-mounted spare tire.
The camo wrap is covered in the names of famous off-roading locations in the States like Death Valley, Moab, and the Rockies. Land Rover only provided photos of a four-door Defender; we previously have seen two-doors testing as well, so this could be an indication that only the more practical version will be brought overseas.