IAA 2019: India-bound 2020 Land Rover Defender 4x4 breaks cover
After years of anticipation, the new generation Land Rover Defender has finally been shown at the ongoing 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. Land Rover has kept the Defender true to its roots but changed everything to make it a viable offering for the present.
This is visible in how the new Defender looks. It retains the boxy functional look of the old car but all the edges have been smoothed out and more intricate detailing has been added. This shows in the face with the square LED light cluster and the big central air dam. Most of the edges of the car are flat to allow for better visibly and off-road capability. The side profile is possibly the one that recalls the earlier car the most. There is a flat roof and a squarish glass area below which sits and a completely flat side-profile. Another bit is the thick C-pillar and the sky-view panels on the roof. The rear is almost completely flat and has geometric inset LED tail lamps on either side of the side-hinged doors. There are many customisation options and off-roading kits available as accessories. Further, Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban packages are available which prepare the Defender for various uses.
The new Defender sits on the all-new D7X platform, not shared with any other Land Rover. This is aluminium monocoque structure three times stiffer than body-on-frame cars. The live-axle suspension has also been replaced by independent ones with air suspension available on higher trims. Two wheelbase lengths are available, the three-door 90 and five-door 110. Adding off-roading capability to this is the permanent all-wheel drive, a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and an optional active locking rear differential. Notable new off-roading tech is the debut of the fully configurable Terrain Response system. Land rover's ground-view camera is also available, which show the area usually hidden by the bonnet. This new architecture gives the Defender a ground clearance of 291mm and approach, departure and break over angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively for the 110 version. There's also 900mm of wading depth on offer through the new wade program in the Terrain Response 2 system.
The Defender carries over this balance of ruggedness and modernity on the inside as well. The dash has 3D elements with lost of open areas and the exposed structural elements, the dash-mounted gear lever and more simple placement of the centre console buttons. The angular theme continues in the steering wheel, instrument cluster, exposed screws as well as the new-gen Pivi Pro infotainment system which also allows for OTA updates. Unique is the optional middle seat in the first row. This allows the 90 to be available in five or six-seat combinations and the 110 in five, six or a 5+2 arrangement.
Engine options are familiar. There are two petrol and one diesel engines from JLR's Ingenium line-up. The P300 is powered by 2.0-litre 4-cylinder with 300PS and 400Nm while the P400 uses a 3.0-litre inline-six paired with a supercharger and 48V mild-hybrid tech. The outputs for this are 404PS and 550Nm. The diesel versions are the D200 and the D240. Both make 430Nm and 200PS and 240PS respectively.
Land Rover will sell the Defender in 128 countries so expect the SUV to debut in India by next year.