Today’s auto market can be easily renamed in the crossover SUV market because a vast majority of today’s drivers want to drive high-riding cars. We can’t really say why the trend constantly grows or whether it’s going to be inverted at some point or not, but we have to make a remark to new-gen SUVs. As you should be aware, there are just a few respectable off-roaders in the crowd of so-called SUV models and just very few of them can be called iconic. Mercedes’ G-Class and Jeep’s Wrangler are the only live legends at the moment, while Ford intends to revive Bronco nameplate in the coming year. Luckily, the list of off-road icons will continue to grow thanks to the 2020 Land Rover Defender that also in the works.
Land Rover introduced the first Defender in 1948, and the automaker decided to cancel it in 2016. Fortunately, the retirement won’t last long, because the new-gen model is going to be ready before the end of 2020.
Our photographers managed to catch a testing prototype of the 2020 Defender a day ago. The iconic SUV has been totally camouflaged, but we’ve managed to discover what’s cooking beneath. In contrast to Mercedes’ redesigned G-Class that largely resembles its predecessor, Land Rover has no intention to do the same with the next-gen Defender. Instead, the iconic off-road machine will receive a total makeover, which will definitely be revolutionary.
First of all, the 2020 Land Rover Defender will grow in size without any doubt, and second, well, it has untypically short overhangs, especially at the front. It’s still unclear how exactly is going to look the redesigned SUV, but we can bet that the front end is going to have something in common with the larger Range Rover. There’s a single-bar grille beneath the camo, as well as a pair of large headlights. Below, in the very center, the Defender hosts a large air intake. However, that’s not going to be the only available air for the engine, because the SUV gets a pair of mesh intakes at corners. The new model will feature a flat hood, but very pronounced arches. The rear end, on the other hand, is evidently notched straight downward and fitted with a spare tire in the center. The tire will have a negative influence on rearward visibility, but that should not be too big problem thanks to a rearview camera and parking sensors.
According to our insiders, the 2020 Defender will ride on a new platform. More precisely, the successor of the legendary SUV will be underpinned by the D7U lightweight aluminum unibody structure that’s currently in charge for the Range Rover and Discovery.
What that exactly means?
By using the platform, the 2020 Land Rover Defender gets fully independent suspension front and rear. Also, the carmaker will not skip the chance to couple the SUV with a low-range transfer case and multiple differential locks in order to enable respectable off-road abilities.
An entry-level model will be fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine. However, we are more curious about a plug-in hybrid powertrain that should be available too. The system will combine the same turbo-four with an electric motor for a total output of 398 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. The automaker will probably offer a V6 option, while some reports indicate that Land Rover reconsiders a full-electric option as well.