The long-awaited 2020 Land Rover Defender is just around the corner and a host of publications in the UK, including Top Gear, recently had the opportunity to test out a number ofg prototypes.
One of the most important upgrades made to the new Defender is the fitment of an air suspension as an option. Top Gear reports that it will be height-adjustable and will be more capable off-road than the more traditional coil spring setup that will come standard with the vehicle.
According to Andy Deeks, the man in charge of the Defender’s durability and reliability program, the air suspension is active: “The air system actively monitors temperature in the dampers and protects the vehicle by changing the parameters of the suspension as you’re driving.”
Deeks says that Land Rover has tested 200 new Defender prototypes around the world. Additionally, the British car manufacturer has fitted a fully-built Defender to a custom rig which shakes it around for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for two months to simulate 10 years or 150,000 miles (241,401 km) of use.
A big focus among the development team for the new Defender was ensuring that it is much more composed on the road than the previous-generation, Deeks added.
“To be a global car you need lots of different benchmarks, because what the Middle East market considers to be the benchmark car is different to America, Europe, China… The old Defender is tough, because it’s uncomfortable to drive quick. Whereas this thing is very comfortable to drive quickly. And as a result it’s been designed to be super durable and robust.”
A presentation for the 2020 Land Rover Defender recently announced that the new SUV will be offered in 90, 110, and 130 versions and with six different powertrains.