After completing 62,000 tests and 1.2 million kilometres of rigorous testing, the all-new Land Rover Defender has finally arrived. The biggest challenge for it is to live up to the cult status of its iconic predecessor and at the same time be modern. Well! The overall squared silhouette, boxy proportions and flat front and rear surely make it respectful of its past while elements like LED headlamps, flat underbody and a slightly rounded front also make it look modern. That said, the 2020 Defender is all new and is a huge leap over the previous generation model. Here's everything you need to know about it.
It's Underpinned By A New Platform
Land Rover has designed an all-new platform for the Defender called the D7X and it's a monocoque chassis. I know it's difficult to settle on that point. Monocoque and Defender just don't relate, more so given the brutal off-road nature of this iconic SUV. But Land Rover claims that it is the stiffest chassis they have ever designed. In fact, it's three times stiffer than a body-on-ladder frame.
It's Been Launched In Two Versions
As before, the new Land Rover Defender is offered in two body types- 3 Door and 5 door. The 3 door is Defender 90 which is the short wheelbase version and the 5 door is Defender 110 which is the long wheelbase version. The company is also planning to add a 130 variant sometime later which will be an eight seater version.
It Gets Flexible Seating Configuration
As said, the eight-seater Defender is yet to arrive but at present Land Rover is offering it with five Seater, six seater and 7 Seater (5+2) seating configurations. The Defender 90 is a 5 seater version but customers can also opt for a middle seat in the front row which also doubles up as an armrest. The Defender 110 is a seven seater SUV.
There Are Three Engine Options
The British Carmaker has understood that new-age customers demand options. Hence, there are three engine options in the line-up. The basic are of course the newly developed 2.0-litre,four cylinder petrol and diesel engines which are mated to the eight-speed automatic transmission. A 3.0-litre, six-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine will also join the line up at a later date.
It's Quite A Capable Off-Roader
Fully independent air and coil spring suspension, a maximum payload of 900 kg, 900 mm wading depth, towing capacity of 3720 kg and Land Rover's most advanced Configurable Terrain Response 2 system to optimize traction and complement all the mechanicals. In short, the new Defender gets all the essentials and then some to live up to the cult status of its predecessor. It can raise itself by 145 mm when going off road and then automatically levels itself on the tarmac to maintain the driving dynamics. The air suspension reduces the ground clearance by 50 mm while getting in or out of the Defender in a bid to improve the ingress and egress.
It's Modern As Well
Well! We remember the Defender which was very basic in nature and the SUV needed some millennial things to appeal young buyers. Yes! I am talking about connectivity and touchscreen options. The 2020 Defender debuts Land Rover's new Pivi Pro infotainment system which along with other trendy connectivity features, also comes with over-the-air (OTA) software updates which is functional anywhere in the world. Two smartphones can be connected simultaneously to the 10-inch touchscreen and the navigation system can cut voice guidance when driving through a familiar route. Other features like 360-degree camera assist, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and head up display are something that we have never seen in a Defender before and the new model gets 85 ECUs that can process 21,000 network messages which is pretty impressive.
It Will Arrive In India Next Year
Yes! We're excited. The Land Rover Defender for the first time is coming to our shores. That said, there's still a long wait as it won't arrive before the second-half of 2020.