After a 21 year hiatus (and sky-rocketing prices of used models), the Defender nameplate is returning to America.
With test prototypes recently snapped on UK roads, Land Rover has officially confirmed that the next-generation Defender will begin testing in North America as well, starting from January 2019.
Testing of camouflaged prototypes on- and off-road will be followed by an official reveal of the all-new Defender later next year. More importantly, the Defender will go on sale in the United States and Canada in 2020.
The first development mules and prototypes have already reached North American shores earlier this month and will start testing next month. Land Rover says it needs to test the Defender in North America given the wide variety of terrain and surfaces available on the continent.
Furthermore, the new model will be subjected “to rigorous test extremes” to make sure it is the most off-road capable Land Rover vehicle ever. According to the carmaker, tests will be performed in temperatures ranging from -40F to +120F, on- and off-road, and at altitudes of more than 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) above sea level.
“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,” said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America.
The upcoming Defender will feature an all-new exterior and interior design, as well as the latest driver assistance and connectivity features available. The company also says it will be “a revolutionary product for Land Rover with even broader public appeal.”
Unfortunately, Land Rover isn’t willing to disclose anything else about the new Defender and says all will be revealed in 2019.