Brand: Land Rover
* Inspired by your smartphone – 10″ Screen with new infotainment system, Pivi Pro21, delivers full connectivity and key information at a glance.
* ClearSight Ground View24 technology, included as part of the enhanced 3D Surround Camera, greatly improve visibility.
*Wireless Phone Charging.
* Activity Key lets you unlock, lock, start and drive your vehicle. It also displays the time.
* New D7x architecture engineered to withstand the Extreme Event Test procedure, above and beyond the normal standard for an SUV.
Best On: Roads, Tracks, Complete Off-Road
Release Date: Available Now
Price: From £40,000.00
It’s finally here. After all the drama, all the teasers, all the leaked images and suspected spec sheets and armchair conjecture — the all-new 2020 Land Rover Defender has been revealed in all its glory.
Visually speaking, it’s hard not to see it as a significant break from the Defenders of yore. Then again, given the myriad challenges facing designers today that were still decades in the future when the first version was penned back around the turn of the ’80s — fuel efficiency requirements and crash test standards foremost among them — the changes aren’t all that surprising. The basic proportions of the two launch models — as suspected, a two-door model called the Defender 90 and a four-door one dubbed Defender 110, though their actual wheelbases are 101.9 and 119 inches, respectively — are unmistakably Land Rover, but the curved bow and squared-off headlamps are distinctly new to the Defender. We’ll reserve our final judgement until we can see it in person, but considering how well Mercedes-Benz managed to update the G-Class for the modern era without sacrificing the SUV’s iconic boxy style, we can’t help wishing Land Rover had hewed a little closer to tradition.
Luckily, everything else about the new Defender seems like exactly what we wanted, especially in the all-important realm of off-road capability. Every 2020 Land Rover Defender comes with full-time four-wheel-drive with low range as standard, creating a solid base from which to build on. Center and rear differentials can be locked as needed, while the standard Terrain Response and optional Terrain Response 2 systems optimize the vehicle for different types of surfaces, from mud to sand to snow.
With the suspension set to off-road height, the Defender offers 11.5 inches of ground clearance, an approach angle of 38 degrees, a departure angle of 40 degrees, a breakover angle of 31 degrees and a maximum fording depth of 35.4 inches sans snorkel. (It’s even smart enough to drag the brakes and vaporize the water off them when clambering out of the depths.) Those specs mean the Defender should prove a worthy opponent to the likes of the Jeep Wrangler off-road. You can even add an integrated front winch or a snorkel as an accessory. This really is everything you could ever want from a 4X4.
Controls and tech primarily lie within the magnesium cross-car frame that stretches the width of the dash and helps make the Defender the stiffest Land Rover ever made. Central to it is a new infotainment system called “PIVI Pro” that’s based around a 10-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Land Rover claims it’s simpler and easier to use than the company’s previous ones — admittedly, not a high bar to clear, considering past JLR infotainment systems have been among the most frustrating in the industry. There’s also a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and an optional full-color head-up display, both of which serve information up to the driver in a fashion that keeps his or her eyes closer to the road.
The new Defender is also set up to receive over-the-air software updates using a cellular data link, much like a smartphone (or a Tesla). That same connection also enables built-in wifi capabilities for the occupants (assuming they buy up a data plan). The SUV’s new electrical architecture enables those updates to flow to 14 different modules, helping keep the vehicle’s brains sharp without having to dive into a dealership.
The Defender’s new electronics suite also helps it unleash a host of new active safety features — including some perfect for off-roading, like the ClearSight Ground View system that uses a front-mounted camera to make the hood seem invisible (at least, on the infotainment screen) and the ClearSight Rear View that uses an aft-mounted camera to provide a wider perspective of what’s behind the vehicle, virtually deleting the spare tire and back pillars from the driver’s view.