Unlike the original, Land Rover will offer the upcoming, all-new Defender in China; which, given the fact that, despite the recent slowdown, this is now the world’s largest car market, really is not that much of a surprise.
In fact, the new SUV might play a big role in reversing JLR’s fortunes in the country, as the British group saw its sales nosedive due a number of factors.
This, however, is not all: according to AutoNews, Land Rover said in a presentation to investors that the Defender will be offered with “China-specific features”, without elaborating further.
The 2020 Defender, which is described by its maker as “tough, capable, and unstoppable”, will also be sold in the U.S. (and, of course, Europe). JLR is planning both ICE and electrified powertrains for it, including a plug-in hybrid version that will join the range some point after its launch.
In April, Land Rover announced that it will be produced alongside the Discovery at its plant in Nitra, Slovakia. Thanks to the numerous sightings of camouflaged test cars, we know that the new Defender will retain a rugged square look and, like its iconic predecessor, will be available in both three- and five-door, short- and long-wheelbase versions.
JLR wants the new Defender to rival the likes of the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Land Cruiser, upcoming Ford Bronco and not just the “good for tarmac, pretty useless off it” myriads of other SUVs out there.
The new Defender is based on a modified version of the MLA platform, which also underpins the new Discovery and Range Rover Sport. It’s expected to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with sales starting in early 2020.