At long last, the Defender will return to the U.S. market.
It’s been years in the making, but now Land Rover has finally revealed official specs for the 2020 Land Rover Defender at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. While we did come across a South African magazine’s leak of the Defender’s specs right before the official reveal, there are a few key differences for the U.S. models. Particularly, one change comes down to the powertrain, as we will not get a diesel engine at launch. Land Rover also released pricing information, but has not yet announced official fuel economy specs. That will come at a later date.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will go on sale in Spring 2020 with prices starting from $49,900 for the Defender 90, and rising up to $84,100 for the Defender X, the highest trim of the long wheelbase 110 model.
U.S. buyers will have two available powertrains at launch — both gasoline units. The smaller of the two, a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ingenium inline-four engine, comes badged as the P300 model. Its 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque propels the base and S trims of the 2020 Land Rover Defender, and comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a similar unit to that found in other Jaguar Land Rover models, such as the Jaguar E-Pace and the Range Rover Evoque, among others.
The larger powertrain, badged P400, comes in the form of a new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. This mild hybrid unit manages 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, and comes with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that drives an electric supercharger to aid the conventional turbocharger. As with the smaller engine, the 3.0-liter inline-six also comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. In Defender 90 and 110 models, it also comes with a slightly lower 3.55 rear axle ratio, to the 2.0-liter’s 4.10.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender rides on what’s known internally at the D7X platform. It has a maximum towing capability of 8,201 pounds, the same as the equivalent Discovery, making it one of the more towing capable SUVs among its competition.
Technology and features
The 2020 Land Rover Defender shakes off its agricultural heritage in this new model, bringing more technology to the equation. The new model has permanent four-wheel drive, as well as a unibody construction to the old Defender’s body-on-frame setup. That may upset some purists, but that should mean a better handling car on the road, especially compared to the old SUVs humble roots. As with other Land Rover models, the new Defender also comes with Terrain Response with several drive modes as standard equipment. The Terrain Response 2 system, with adds an “Auto” function to the mix, is optional on Land Rover 110 models with the 3.0-liter engine.
Inside, the 2020 Land Rover Defender gets a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. Like its cousins, the Defender too gets a squad of 360-degree cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver see the car’s placement on the trail and ford up to three feet of water. The Defender comes with up to 8.6 inches of ground clearance in its standard ride height. However, the fully independent air suspension allows drivers to lift the car up to a maximum 11.5 inches of ground clearance. That seriously helps approach (30.1 degrees), departure (40.0 degrees) and breakover (up to 31.0 degrees), putting the 2020 Land Rover Defender well ahead of the competition. The Defender 110 does suffer on breakover slightly at 28.0 degrees due to its longer wheelbase.
On top of all the other off-road technologies, Land Rover offers the Defender in several seating configurations. The short-wheelbase Defender 90 will have a six-passenger seating option. The 110, on the other hand, will seat passengers in a 5 (3+2), 6 (3+3) or 7 (2+3+2) configuration. The Defender comes in Standard, S, SE, HSE and Defender X trims.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender gets a thoroughly updated interior, featuring a new 10.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The new Defender also gets a fully digital instrument cluster, in keeping with its contemporaries across the Land Rover brand.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more Defender updates, including more news, views and real-world reviews!