It’s been a long wait for the ardent fans of the classic Land Rover since it was scrapped in 2016. Land Rover cited a change in health and safety policies that made the classics unsafe to drive. Moreover, the introduction of the Land Rover designs that resembled the Range Rover did little to appease the fans. It’s with that in mind that the 2020 Land Rover Defender concept was conceived. One of the challenges that have faced the new design as you may expect, is that the classic Land Rover is a legend.
Change in Design
And designing an iconic legend into something new is bound to create some big challenges. Hopefully, Land Rover seems to have broken new ground, judging from the spy shots of a test mule. However, what is clear is that the new Land Rover won’t be having a retro design, although it will have an exterior that resembles the classic box shape of the first Land Rover defenders. The classic Land Rover was unveiled in 1948, and had a mechanically-and-utilitarian-bulletproof design. The defender rose to great notoriety for being one of the most capable off-road vehicles of all time. The new design whose release will coincide with the Land Rover’s 70th anniversary, is expected to restore its former glory, and give Land Rover a new lifeline.
While we haven’t seen the actual body yet, the fact that they have a test mule shows they are at an advanced stage of implementing their design. In the test mule, they use the modified body of an existing model to test the mechanics of the new design. From the spy photos, the 2020 Land Rover Defender design was being tested in the modified body of a Range Rover Sport. We were able to see that the new Defender will have a short body compared to the Range Rover Sport. Moreover, the test mule was being used to test a defender with a short wheelbase. However, there will be one with a long wheelbase, and it has already been planned for. Other plans include having design with a 3-door design, a 5-door design, as well as a pickup design.
A Combinaton of the Old and New Design
The new design was supposed to be ready for production in 2015, just before they phased out the classic design. Unfortunately, there were frequent changes in its design, which led to a delay in the conclusion of the design. Hopefully, they have ironed out those challenges, and we expect to see the 2020 Land Rover Defender ready or sale by mid to late 2019. In 2012, Land Rover designed the DC100s to hint a new design that would offer a competitive Land Rover model against Toyota’s Hilux. The design was supposed to cheap to produce, and therefore inexpensive. However, the Land Rover die-hard fans didn’t like the design in general. That prompted them to go back to the drawing board.
Land Rover will use the new design to position it as Defender premium 0ff-road car, similar to the G-Class from Mercedes. The G-Class is also about to undergo a change in design later this year. To do that, they had to switch to the lightweight aluminum platform, closely resembling that used by the Land Rover’s SUVs and Discovery. It will still have a live rear axle, two differential locks to give it a superior off-road performance, and a low-range transfer case. Moreover, it will retain a flat roof, as well as a boxy-like body design, which most fans want to see. The 2020 Land Rover Defender powertrains will include an inline-4 2.0 Liter turbocharged engine, a V-6 3.0 Liter supercharged engine, and maybe a plug-in hybrid setup. In future, we expect to hear of a fully electric option.
Overall, if the new defender becomes a success as its predecessor was, it’s expected to lead into three related models. Some of its distinguishing features will be durability, robustness, and reliability. That’s what you would expect from a family of defenders, and it was what made the popular in the past.
We expect it to continue an upward trend into the up-market that Land Rover has taken in the recent past. It will provide not just elemental features that excite off-road drivers, but also a luxurious experience for the urban dwellers. As we move into a future where usage of fossil fuels on our cars is expected to decline, we know for sure that the new Land Rover will make room for those developments. We all look forward to what this new model has in store for us.