After years of waiting and rumors spreading, Land Rover reinvented the iconic Defender SUV and the model made the debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show. Preceding the debut was three years of intensive developing and miles of testing to ensure model’s everyday usability and off-road capability.
The new Land Rover Defender is based on the new lightweight platform and will be available in various body styles and trim options. Land Rover promised six trim options at launch and there will also be the range of powertrain options as well. The model will be powered by turbocharged petrol and diesel engines combined with the mild-hybrid system in some applications. All versions will be four-wheel drive and the new Defender comes with the independent rear suspension for a better on-road drive while will also provide impressive off-road capability.
The new Defender will debut in the standard-wheelbase 110 form and the short-wheelbase 90. The models will come next year. However, there will be more Defenders shortly and leaked details suggest the long-wheelbase 130 version with the up to eight seats. The Defender will get the plug-in version which could appear alongside the 130 model as the 2021 Land Rover Defender. The new Defender should also get the ultra-posh version and there are rumors about the pickup truck variant as well.
2021 Land Rover Defender: Design
The new-generation Land Rover Defender is based on the upgraded D7 platform used on the Discovery and Range Rover Sport. Dubbed the D7x, the new platform is a 95 percent new as Land Rover claims and the monocoque construction makes it the stiffest body structure the brand ever made. So, the new platform should provide reliability and durability under the extreme conditions the model will handle while thanks to the aluminum-intensive design it also gets benefits from the reduced weight.
With the new platform, the redesigned Defender switched also to the more civilized and modern styling compared to the previous military design. The model has again blocky silhouette but with the mix of the sleek body panels, modern styling elements and old charm it balances well between the old-school design and modern trends.
The new Defender will available with short- and standard-wheelbase which are about 10 inches longer respectively than the previous versions. Land Rover kept the 90 and 110 designations as before which referenced to the wheelbase length but the new models are longer measuring 102 and 119 inches respectively. The 2021 Land Rover Defender should also bring the long-wheelbase 130 variant with up to eight seats. The short-wheelbase 90 model will seat up to six while the 110 will offer 5+2 configuration.
The cabin of the new Defender combines the durability and utility with the modern infotainment and packing.
The model has a horizontally-oriented dash equipped with the new infotainment system. The new fast and intuitive infotainment platform is managed via the 10-inch touchscreen. The system supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. There will also be a wireless charging in the new Defender and large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Buyers will also be able to get premium comfort features including leather upholstery, heated seats and more. The new Defender will also rely on modern, active safety systems.
2021 Land Rover Defender: Performance
The new-generation Defender evolved to a more civilized and comfortable machine but thanks to the reinforced platform and capable powertrains Land Rover promises even better off-road capability than before with more comfortable ride while on road.
The integration of the independent front and rear suspension make the new Defender more comfortable while the hard-core off-road gear will also provide the go-anywhere capability. All Defenders will come with the 8-speed automatic transmission and permanent four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case and brand’s configurable Terrain response system. There will also be the optional center and rear locking differentials. The model has also a lifted ride height than before and impressive approach and departure angles.
The engine range will start with the base 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine producing 296 hp and torque of 295 pound-feet. The alternative will be the mild-hybrid system getting 395 hp and torque of 406 pound-feet from the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 combined with the 48-volt electric system, battery pack and electric supercharger.
The D200 and D240 diesel-powered versions will be available on the Old Continent producing 197 and 240 hp respectively.
It’s not clear yet whether the plug-in hybrid powertrain will come with the 2021 Land Rover Defender but it should produce over 400 hp.
2021 Land Rover Defender: Release, Price
The first, new-generation Defender will go on sale in spring 2020 as the part of the 2020 model year. The 2021 Land Rover Defender will reach the market a year later. The price will start from around $50, 000 for the five-door 110 version.