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All-new Land Rover Defender makes its debut

Land Rover's most famous nameplate returns for all-new model — boasting modern tech in a retro design

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After years of concepts, rumours, teaser images and countless leaks, Land Rover has at last revealed the new Defender.

The original Land Rover Defender ended production in 2016, with a dedicated off-roader-sized gap in the British firm’s line-up since then. However, while the new model looks somewhat Defender-ish, it’s a decidedly upmarket reinterpretation with top-spec models starting at just under £80,000.

The design takes on a boxy but a modern look, with enclosed LED headlights, softer details and a distinctive rear light design. It draws inspiration not just from the original Defender, but also from previous Freelander and Discovery models.

It looks set to be just as capable as its famous forefathers thanks to some clever new tech. Underpinning the off-roader is a new ‘D7x’ platform, based on an aluminium monocoque, which Land Rover says is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame chassis setups.

  • 2020 Land Rover Defender 90 01 | The Car Expert
  • 2020 Land Rover Defender 90 02 | The Car Expert
  • 2020 Land Rover Defender 90 03 | The Car Expert

Debuting on the new Land Rover Defender is ‘Configurable Terrain Response’, which allows vehicle settings to be fine-tuned to cope with any particular surface — though pre-set options are there for beginners to off-roading too. The firm’s ‘ClearSight’ technology features as well, which utilises a camera setup to display the ground underneath the bonnet on the central screen.

A spartan approach is taken inside the car. Structural elements are exposed — both to save weight by doing away with materials that would normally cover these as well as showcase its rugged roots — while rubberised flooring shows the function-over-form approach Land Rover is taking.

It’s not entirely a blast from the past, though. A touchscreen infotainment system features and utilises over-the-air software updates to remain futureproof.

Available in short-wheelbase 90 or long-wheelbase 110 guises, the British off-roader is capable of seating seven in its largest form (six in the 90). Folding the rear-most row results in 1,075 litres of boot space — rising to 2,380 litres with the middle row flattened. Those looking for an open-air experience can opt for a fabric roof, too.

Powertrain choices at launch consist of two petrol options — a six-cylinder and four-cylinder — along with two four-cylinder diesels. Petrol offerings also utilise mild-hybrid technology, with a plug-in hybrid unit set to join the range next year.

Five trims will be offered for the Defender — namely S, SE, HSE, First Edition and Defender X. Pricing starts at £45,240 for long-wheelbase 110 models, with standard equipment across the range including LED head- and taillights, 18-inch steel wheels, a heated windscreen, a ten-inch screen supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control and a 3D 360-degree camera system.

Order books are set to open imminently for the reborn Land Rover Defender 110, with first deliveries expected in December. The short-wheelbase 90 variants are due mid-2020, with pricing expected to begin at £40,920.

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.