It’s been two decades since you could buy a new Land Rover Defender in the United States, but that’s about to change.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, Land Rover took the wraps off the latest version of its iconic Defender, and this wicked 4×4 has hit written all over it. First off, there have been some big changes. Instead of a body-on-frame design, the chassis is now a unibody, and the solid axles have been replaced with independent suspension.
While the Defender has always been the most capable off-roader in Land Rover’s stable, these changes were made to give it better manners on pavement, where most examples will likely spend the majority of their time.
Power will come from one of two engines. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque will be standard on the P300 models, while P400 models will sport an turbocharged inline-six that also uses a mild-hybrid system to achieve 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of twist. At some point, we might see a diesel version in the States, but there are no specifics on that right now.
Of course, four-wheel drive is standard, along with locking center and rear differentials, and every Defender will get an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. With an approach angle of 30 degrees, a departure angle of 38 degrees, along with an ability to ford nearly three feet of water, there should be few obstacles which give this beast any issues. So it’s ready to go overlanding right off the showroom floor, Land Rover is also offering a ton of accessories for the Defender, including a side-mounted gear tote, a burly roof rack and ladder, and a factory roof tent — which we unfortunately don’t have pics of just yet.
While a two-door version — the Defender 90 — will be available later next year, the first models will all be Defender 110s, which have four doors, and will start at $50,925, including destination. The 2020 Land Rover Defender will arrive at your local AutoNation-affiliated Land Rover dealer this spring. But if you’re looking to get your hands on one of the first examples, we’d recommend getting on a list now — these are sure to be hot tickets!