Land Rover has announced its new Defender will be available in North American showrooms starting in 2020, with its public debut due this coming year. It also showed off a heavily-camouflaged prototype.
The new sport utility vehicle (which Land Rover calls its most capable ever) has already begun real world testing in various other parts of the world, with North American tests (to start in January) providing valuable data on a variety of terrain and surfaces. As with other world tests, the vehicles will be tested at temperature extremes, from -40 to +49 Celsius, and altitudes up to 4,000 metres above sea level
“There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle," said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America. "On behalf of Land Rover and our retailers, we are proud to announce the voices of American and Canadian customers has been heard: The all new Defender will be for sale here starting in 2020. This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hint of what’s to come in the New Year.”
Developed from the original Land Rover Series vehicles, Defender was introduced in 1983, initially simply as Land Rover with wheelbase length designations (i.e., Land Rover 90 and Land Rover 110) before officially being named Defender with the introduction of the Discovery in 1990.
Defender ceased North American distribution in 1997, but continued in other parts of the world (garnering a cult following for its simple design and go-anywhere ability) through 2016. The all-new Defender sheds its 7-decade-old structure and body.
The revolutionary new Defender has an all new exterior design and new interior layout to match, and includes a suite of driving aids in keeping with today’s modern vehicles. More will revealed throughout the year, with a public debut expected at one of the year’s auto shows.