If watching Top Gear and The Grand Tour for the better part of 15 years has taught us anything about Richard Hammond, it is that he absolutely loves two icons: the Porsche 911 and the Land Rover Defender.
It’s only fitting, then, that the journalist and TV presenter was one of the first to check out the 2020 Defender in a British forest before the SUV’s Frankfurt Motor Show launch.
The two Defenders featured in this video are the 90 and 110 variants. Both models are underpinned by the new D7x architecture, but it will be the 110 that first arrives in dealerships in spring 2020 before the short-wheelbase Defender 90 and the Commercial model arrive later on next year.
There will be two powertrains offered for the new Defender in the United States. The first is JLR’s P300 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with 296 HP, and the second a 3.0-liter inline-six petrol paired to a 48-volt electric supercharger, pumping out 395 HP and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque.
Hammond’s video takes a particularly focus on the design of the Defender that certainly looks more upmarket than the previous-generation model and wouldn’t look out of place with a Range Rover badge. However, some claim the off-roader has lost the utilitarian focus of the old model and aren’t won over by all the technology found inside and beneath the vehicle’s skin.
Our take? We have no doubt the Defender will establish a new benchmark for off-roaders. Its predecessor was extremely capable, but its original design was ancient by modern standards; we fathom the new one will put all its tech to good use and will, in all likelihood, even surpass the original – plus, it will be much easier to live with day in, day out.