New 2020 Land Rover Defender has broken cover, with camouflaged prototypes being tested on public roads in Britain.
After nearly three years of conjecture, we can finally reveal the shape of the model that will replace the iconic Defender that ended production at Land Rover’s Solihull factory in January 2016.
Land Rover has admitted that the vehicle shown here is indeed the new Defender - and officially confirmed for the first time that it will be on sale in 2020.
“We can confirm that customers around the world will be taking delivery of and enjoying Defender again from 2020,” said a Land Rover spokesperson.
“Jaguar Land Rover runs a wide range of engineering and technology development programmes. We are unable to comment on the specific nature of these programmes. However, we can confirm that the Defender programme is progressing well and has reached an exciting stage of its development.”
Beneath the camouflage on the spy shots is a four-door model - possibly a twin cab configuration. Appearances can be deceptive, but LRM’s team reckon it looks like a 100-inch wheelbase. Does this mean Land Rover is ditching the short and long wheelbase variants for a single model?
What is clear is that it is much boxier and muscular in appearance than the most recent Land Rover releases, like the Range Rover Velar and new Discovery. In fact, it does look a bit like the old Discovery 4 hiding under that camouflage vinyl.
Purists will breathe a sigh of relief that it looks nothing like the derided DC100 project car that Land Rover revealed a few years ago. But will it be built in Solihull or will it follow new Discovery out of the door to be assembled in parent company Tata’s factory in Slovenia?
So what does our editor, Patrick Cruywagen, have to say about the images?
“I think that this is massively exciting news. I got goosebumps when I first saw the images.
Land Rover has not felt like a proper family since they stopped producing Defenders. The Prodigal Son is back, though it looks like he has had some plastic surgery.”
"The Defender has reached an exciting stage of it’s development”
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What do you think of the shape of things to come? We’ve already got the first comments from Defender fans online ....
Jordan Bellamy: At last. It’s a start. What a great publicity stunt by JLR. Bennie Nel: Will it have oil leaks as an optional extra?
Ted Lohr: Let’s hope you can remove the top without using a saw.
Dale Silloc: Looks like the new Jimny on steroids - or the old Discovery on Thinz.
Kenton Cool: Big moment for JLR. It’s going to be great.
Hieth George: It does look a little like my D4. I like the fact that it is more boxy than curvy.
Laurens de Smet: I can’t wait to see the real thing.
Martin Wright: I think that the new Defender is going to be great.