Land Rover confirms we'll see new Defender in 2019

New Defender reveal will be 2019, and it will ‘respect’ unmistakable shape

New Defender mule testing in North America

New Defender mule testing in North America

After years of procrastination, Land Rover has confirmed that the new Defender will be unveiled in 2019 and they’ll arrive in dealerships in 2020. That suggests, to us, that the reveal will be late in the year – possibly at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where the DC100 concept was shown in 2011.

The press release is a bit of a teaser and includes the line: ‘With an all-new exterior and interior design respecting Defender’s unmistakable shape…’ We’ve spoken to people close to the vehicle and they have said that they have never known a body-test mule so well camouflaged. So, what we see in the picture isn’t what we’ll get, and it may look closer to an old Defender than we expected. After all, if they could designers could redesign the Evoque and keep its looks, retaining the boxy shape of the Defender should be a doddle.

The above pic shows a mule in testing in North America – the Defender hasn’t been available in the US since the short-lived NAS 90 and 110 models of the 1990s and, we understand, the US market is key for Defender. In fact, we believe the original replacement’s design was shelved as it didn’t look enough like a Defender.

Original NAS Defender 110 in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Original NAS Defender 110 in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado

Testing in North America will see the Defender mules operating in temperatures from -40°C to +49°C on- and off-road and at altitudes as high as 13,000feet – the height at which aircraft must carry on-board oxygen – so they’ll certainly get a good work-out.

Rawdon Glover, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director said: ‘The Defender nameplate stands for durability and alongside Range Rover delivering ultimate luxury and Discovery offering the best versatility in the market, we will have an SUV for every customer requirement.’

Raised ride-height suggest air-suspension

Raised ride-height suggest air-suspension