2020 Land Rover Defender Reborn As A Modern 4×4 With Advanced Tech

Land Rover has just unveiled its all-new Defender at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, breathing new life into a legendary nameplate that can now stand toe to toe with the world’s most technologically-advanced off-roaders.

Based on the new D7x architecture, the new Defender will launch in spring 2020 in Defender 110 configuration available with 5+2 seating in four distinct Accessory Packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban. It will be joined later in 2020 on by the short-wheelbase Defender 90 and the Commercial model.

The automaker claims the 2020 Defender is the toughest and most capable Land Rover vehicle yet as it combines a new body structure with all-new technologies and proven hardware to make the nameplate fit for the 21st century.

A modern Defender in every way, looks included

Styling-wise, the new model is unmistakably a Defender, albeit one that has undergone a complete overhaul inside and out. It features minimal front and rear overhangs and high sills for excellent approach and departure angles, an upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, side-hinged rear tailgate, and externally-mounted spare wheel.

It may be modern but the 2020 Defender looks tough at the same time thanks to the sculptured fenders on top of the square wheel arches and strong shoulders. It also looks more upscale than its illustrious predecessor and that impression is stressed by the new LED headlights and vertical taillights.

Land Rover offers a choice of 12 wheel designs, ranging from 18-inch white-painted pressed steel rims to 22-inch Luna alloys. The exterior color palette includes three new metallic shades unique to the Defender (Tasman Blue, Pangea Green and Gondwana Stone) that join Fuji White, Eiger Grey, Santorini Black, and Indus Silver.

A revolution inside

Inside, the 2020 Defender is a radical departure from its predecessor as it features a high-tech dashboard featuring a digital instrument panel, a central touchscreen, and a head-up display powered by the next-generation Land Rover Electronic Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) which supports Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates. There’s a minimal number of physical buttons on the center console and on the steering wheel as most functions are handled by the infotainment system.

The cabin integrates structural parts of the bodywork in a harmonious way and that contributes to a rugged appearance. There’s an abundance of storage opportunities, according to Land Rover, including a choice of center consoles. A practicality highlight is the Front Row Center Seat (known as a jump seat) that is standard on the First Edition Defender 90 and optional on the Defender 110.

It allows three people to travel on the front row, which means the Defender 110 can be had with five, six or 5+2 seating while the Defender 90 can accommodate six occupants. When not in use, the seat back folds down to provide a front armrest and additional storage — including two additional cupholders. The Defender 90 will also offer the option of a full-length Folding Fabric roof for open-top driving.

Customers will be able to choose from three interior color combinations and different interior finish options. Material choices include Resolve textile on standard models while ‘S’ and ‘SE’ trims feature Grained Leather combined with a durable Robust Woven Textile featuring higher Decitex fibers for added strength in areas subjected to the most wear.

‘HSE’ models bring high grade Windsor Leather, while the Defender X features Windsor Leather in combination with Steelcut Premium Textile accent for enhanced durability. There’s also a wide choice of veneers and finishes, including rugged rough-cut Walnut or Natural Smoked Dark Oak Veneer.

Ground clearance of 291 mm (11.5 inches) and impressive off-road stats

A Defender has to be very capable off the beaten track and Land Rover says it accomplished that thanks to the all-aluminum D7x platform. It allows for a ground clearance of 291 mm (11.5 in) and approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (in Off-Road height with tow eye cover removed), respectively for the Defender 110. The maximum wading depth is also impressive at 900mm (35.4-in).

The lightweight all-aluminum monocoque construction of the new D7x platform also results in the stiffest Land Rover body ever created — three times more rigid than traditional body-on-frame designs. This provides a great basis for the fully-independent suspension, twin-speed transfer box and permanent four-wheel drive. The strong body architecture also enhances towing capability, with the 2020 Defender boasting a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 lbs (3,720 kg).

The 2020 Defender marks the debut of Configurable Terrain Response, a system that allows drivers to fine-tune the set-up of the vehicle to suit the off-road conditions. Off-road tech also includes Center Slip Limited and Center and Rear Slip Limited options that can be activated using the central touchscreen controller, Wade Sensing, Land Rover All-Terrain Progress Control, and ClearSight Ground View.

Furthermore, the new Defender offers a choice of three settings for the throttle and gearbox response, steering and traction control.

Up to 395 HP with the P400 mild-hybrid six-cylinder powertrain

In the U.S., customers will be able to choose from two powertrains: a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine badged P300 and a six-cylinder Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain, badged P400. The 2.0-liter turbo-four in the P300 produces 296 hp (300 PS) and enables a 0-60 mph time of 7.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 8.1 seconds).

The 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine features both a twin-scroll turbocharger and a 48-volt electric supercharger to provide 395 hp (400 PS) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds). Both engines are linked to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and twin-speed transfer box.

Europe and other markets will also get the 2020 Defender with two diesel engines. Both have a displacement of 2.0 liters and deliver 197 hp (200 PS) in the D200 and 237 hp (240 PS) in the D240. A plug-in hybrid powertrain will join the range next year.

Available driving assistance systems include Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Pre-Collision Monitor, Rear Traffic Monitor, Clear Exit Monitor, Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Condition Monitor, as well as front and rear Parking Aids.

The 2020 Land Rover Defender will be available in Defender, Defender S, Defender SE, Defender HSE, Defender X and Defender First Edition trims. Prices start from $49,900 in the U.S. for the Defender 110 P300 and £45,240 in the UK for the Defender 110 D200. The Defender 90 is expected to start at around £40,000.


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  • exeptor

    I don’t know …. I like it. Looks capable, modern, definitely inspired by the original car in the design area. At the end the era of a brutal (comfort wise) off-roaders come to it’s end while we still have a modern, comfort and very good offroading vehicles like Land Cruiser and G class (basic one not AMG) . Maybe they will be replaced by a super capable pickup trucks like both Raptors from Ford.

    • Bash

      I believe that is the plan, or at least that is how I would imagine going down the road will be in the future.

    • Harry_Wild

      Ford Bronco will be release next year for a 2021-2022 model year! Base price should less.

      • exeptor

        Maybe it will be the true successor of Defender and G class. We will see, but something tells me that it will be closer to this Defender in terms of how it feels. As I’ve said above – the times of hardcore off-roaders is inevitably lost … it is just the market.

      • CarCzarDesigner

        No doubt the Bronco has its base enthusiasts and fans. However, I doubt it is going to be the all time sales winner many Ford Bronco fans are hoping for. I also doubt Ford’s designers will get it right. They will get the engineering right, the looks will probably very subjective. It’s one thing for a new vehicle to be introduced and sales go through the roof. It’s quite another for a product to have staying power. Anything that Ford produces, Jeep and Chevrolet will most likely counter with an alternative product, that will be just as good or better. After all, that is what competition is all about.

  • Frase

    It still doesn’t have anything on the original. For one, this new one is going to have a pile more electrics that’ll be going wrong because LR are still not exactly Hilux levels of dependable. At least with the old car it was immensely straightforward and sort of represented the very basic idea of the car. With this it just looks too urbanised (plus that floating pillar look utterly pointless) even with one of those special mod packs. If anyone truly wants a new Defender, then buying a Suzuki Jimny is a better answer.

    Also, that livestream buffering issue was just kinda embarrassing.

  • Land Rover totally nailed this modern reimagination of a classic.

  • wintergraan

    Reminds me of a playmobil car. It doesn’t look bad but the tough character of the original Defender is missing.

  • designer_dick

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of die-hard Land Rover purists spontaneously combusting in incandescent, apoplectic rage.

    • slither16

      It’s not as a bad as I thought.

  • Mike anonymous

    Oh How I have missed You “O – O” Styled Headlamps. I think this is very tastefully done, and is certainly the LandRover (in general) most everyone has been waiting for this decade. (While it may not be the vehicle the original was, it on its’ own can certainly stand to be a good or even great LandRover.).


    The design of the vehicle seems as though it has come from the LRX-Era of Land-Rover design (which gave us great vehicles such as the Pre-Facelift 2013 RangeRover & First-Generation Pre-Facelift RangeRover Evoque), opposed to the “Post-Velar Era” and current design language.

    I am also grateful that this vehicle will be offered in a ‘coupe’ (meaning 2 doors, not ‘sloping roofline’) variant.


    Overall this looks to be a great vehicle, and hopefully this Defender may act as a beacon of light to a (relative) ‘return to form‘ path for Land Rover. So Yes, it may not be the original, but its’ unique and seemingly a proper off-roader in its’ own right.


  • Anthony James

    Is that cost too high for a rural farmer?

  • charlotteharry57

    This vehicle illustrates PERFECTLY why all the hype in the US about wanting the Jimny to come here. The Jimny stayed true to its roots, INCLUDING PRICE. This thing is overstyled (rear end is atrocious) and overpriced. Automakers need to learn a hard lesson in that going retro sometimes includes adding the modern tech WITH RESTRAINT and not going all full-luxo-boat. Fail.

  • Leconte Dave

    Soccer Moms will love this

  • salamOOn

    those smaller dual tailights are pure WTF 😀

  • disqus_83g6mJmr6l

    a very fine looking vehicle! in & out.the rear taillights are super cool & ‘concept car’ original


    the car was launched only to compete with wrangler

  • charlotteharry57

    Ever since the Wrangler recently lost its way by becoming a semi-luxury vehicle (did you see the latest one about Porsche owners trading in for Wranglers?), and now this mess, I’m worried about the upcoming Bronco. Maybe GM had the right idea by staying far, far, away.

  • Respects the original design whilst radically modernising it in that ‘this is what it would like 50 years in the future’ way. Literally, too. I adore the front fenders and how they maintain that clean, flat look by directing the bonnet lines over instead of through it, as per the original. Yet also nods to the current line-up by having the tailights ‘disguised’ in the black bar (albeit in a vertical, not horizontal, stance). I’d pick a 90 in those white steelies to perfect the look. LR have done a very good job indeed.



  • McFly

    So, they basically made the Defender a Range Rover. I thought the Range Rovers sort of filled that niche already.

    • designer_dick

      Hardly. The floor is rubber, so more utilitarian versions can probably still be hosed out. You can’t do that in a Range Rover with Lamb’s Wool Wilton Carpet.

      • McFly

        Yes, I meant to say that the new Defender moves into the niche that the Range Rover was originally intended to fill. 🙂

    • Cobrajet

      The last series sort of did that too.

  • Gerald Michael

    I can’t say I don’t like the new Defender, though it will take some getting used to. But I will say I don’t like that unsightly panel on the side rear windows whose only purpose is to obstruct outward vision.

  • Ben

    I’ve been critical of the new Defender’s styling, noting the design is essentially a rugged Ford Flex. However, it has been growing on me. Its not a vehicle for me, but considering the safety and emissions standards of today, its nearly impossible to bring back the design of the old Defender. Adequate job, Land Rover.

    • donald seymour

      You and me both. Visually, it’s still not on the level of the previous generation and not the G-Class. However, it holds it own. It probably won’t ave well, but hey.

  • kenny the pig

    needs more photos

  • Brian Regan

    I like this new Defender very much. May be the first time I like the 4-door version of an SUV better than the 2.

  • wonderdallas

    The styling is so graphically designed that actual photos look like 3D renders. This also makes it look smaller than it will be. This isn’t a knock on the styling as in the flesh it will probably strike quite a figure.

  • Thunderbolt

    If Toyota FJ Cruiser could look this good, fully loaded with the same price as this one’s starting price. You know it’d be a hit.

  • wonderdallas

    This reminds me what a fool Honda is for cancelling the Element.

  • Rob

    Ok, the front ‘jump seat’ is really cool. Like..FINALLY..an idea to somehow bring back the front bench seat. I’m tired of the center console, and really waiting for the days its gone. Maybe with electric cars not needing that tunnel. But, my dog loves to sit in the front seat, and with this car she has a place to sit between me and the wife. Only thing I have to see…is how anyone else could sit in that seat? Where do their feet go?

  • Ricki Boo

    ok, ok, ok ok. OK. ok, OK.

    This is THE BEST photoset OF ALL TIME.


  • Hoe

    They couldn’t have made it worse.
    It’s not a good successor of he Defender, it’s just another LR

  • KareKakk

    So far from the original Defender and the concept of a no-frills sturdy vehicle, they should have called it the Land Rover Attacker.

  • Abu Sayyaff

    For all of you naysayers, the old Defender was in showrooms for ages with “0” sales .. obviously it was good to look at but buying “no thank you”

    This thing going ot sell like hot cake … wait and see.

    I say, great job LR, am a buyer of D90 .. Soon

  • Dennis James

    I really love this design, hopefully I will be able to afford one soon because it doesn’t look so big for a dual-purpose SUV.

    Looks futuristic while at the same time also looking familiar.

    Much better looking than the G-Class. The Defender was able to step into the future (and not looking ugly or weird) while the G-Class is too retro-looking.

    Great job to the English manufacturers, who rarely if ever design ugly cars (well…some late Astons are an exception), unlike the Germans who really lost their way lately.

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