Late last year, Land Rover dropped the first official photos of the all-new Defender and announced the nameplate will make a return later in 2019, with global sales kicking off in 2020.
It’s without a doubt one of the most eagerly awaited debuts of the year, and the spy shots we’ve seen so far showing the short-wheelbase, three-door Defender 90 and the long-wheelbase, five-door Defender 110 certainly fueled our anticipation.
So when our spy photographers snapped a Defender prototype taking to the snow for the first time we knew we had to show you the images as well. At a first glance, the Defender 110 wears a similar camouflage as the last time we saw it. However, a closer look reveals some changes. For example, this prototype ditches the “#Best4x4xFar” inscription and the rear spare wheel, allowing a better look at the side-hinged tailgate.
Additionally, the camouflage tape seems better affixed to the body, especially around the rear lateral windows and the hatch. Unfortunately, we don’t get a peek inside this time either. Overall, the new Defender is shaping up quite nicely into the rugged SUV the world expects it to be.
Still capable off-road but more civilized on the road
Just don’t expect it to be as rough as its predecessor, especially on the road. That’s because it will feature independent rear suspension and a new aluminum-intensive monocoque architecture instead of the body-on-frame construction of the old-school Defender. This will result in a lighter and stiffer body. It will also give Land Rover more flexibility to build as many variants as the market requires, using various axles, transmissions, tires and suspension calibrations.
According to CAR, the engine lineup is expected to comprise JLR’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for entry-level models, while upper-range versions will get new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder units (both gasoline and diesel) in place of the old V6s. All engines will be turbocharged, with some getting an additional electric charger as well.
The all-new generation Defender will spawn an entire model family as Land Rover wants to offer different variants to target various customer groups. One of them will be the Defender Sport, scheduled to go into production in Slovakia in 2026.