- Deleted tweet sent by UK designer
- Appears to show 2020 Land Rover Defender interior
- Defender set to debut later in 2019
- But Land Rover Discovery SVX has been canned
The dangers of social media to car companies has reared its head again, with a UK designer has seemingly tweeting a spy picture of the cabin of the brand new Land Rover Defender, which is due to launch later in 2019.
The offending image was quickly removed, apparently at the behest of a cranky Land Rover PR person who suggested to tweetist Richard Charles that a “legal team” could get involved.
The Defender is supposed to herald a return of a more utilitarian vehicle for the Indian-owned British brand, in the same vein as the soon-to-be launched Jeep Wrangler.
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The single spy shot of the 2020 Land Rover Defender reveals a driver’s space which is a lot different to anything that’s currently in the Land Rover range. A leather-wrapped steering wheel lies quite flat in front of the driver, with the old-school four-spoke design brought into the modern age with the use of exposed Torx bolts and alloy-esque spoke detailing.
The dash itself is digital – a la vehicles like the Range Rover Velar – and there’s a rectangular multimedia screen in the centre console. A large, flat embossed alloy panel finishes off the dashboard on the passenger side.
The automatic gearbox shifter is located on the centre console itself and looks to be a return-to-centre trigger style device. Two dials to its right could be reserved for climate control functions, while an external volume button is also visible.
It's likely that the image is actually one taken of a pre-production mock-up of the Defender's cabin, thanks to the number of blank buttons on the centre console.
Given the location of the auto shifter and the presence of what looks like rubber matting, Land Rover appears to be staying true to the Defender’s original ethos of rugged usability.
READ MORE 2020 Land Rover Defender not far away
Land Rover is stepping up its program of controlled images leaks, with the most recent set depicting both short- and long-wheelbase versions will be made available.
Two-litre diesel engines will likely be the main motivator for the 2020 Land Rover Defender, as well as the brand’s new Ingenium six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. An electric version is also being mooted.
The Defender will also move from a ladder frame chassis to the same modular architecture that sits under vehicles like the Discovery. It will also likely feature the pick of Jaguar Land Rover’s electronic off-road technology.
Land Rover Discovery SVR cancelled
However, the bad news for the beleaguered brand continues, as it reels from the news of a staggering $6 billion loss in the last three months of 2018. The brand has cancelled production of a second model, the Land Rover Discovery SVX, even before it hit the production line.
The Discovery SVX (below), which debuted at the 2017 LA motor show, was set to be powered by the company’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8. Like the mega-dollar Range Rover SV Coupe, which was canned in January, the Discovery SVR was slated to go on sale late in 2018.