INFORMATION leaked from what appears to be an in-house Land Rover presentation has revealed the new 2020 Land Rover Defender will eventually be available in three wagon variants.
Taking its nomenclature from Defenders past, the three wagons will be known as the Defender 90, Defender 110 and Defender 130; but, unlike in the past, the numerals do not reflect the wheelbase in inches. Notably, there is still no mention of any Defender ute or cab-chassis models. The information appeared on a Disco4 forum.
The new Defender family will debut here in Australia early in 2020 with the expected 90 and 110 models, while the unexpected 130 variant won’t be seen until 2022.
According to the leaked information the 130 is being dubbed the Premium Explorer model and will ride on the same 3022mm (119-inch) wheelbase as the 110 mode, but at 5100mm total length it will offer more cargo space than the 4785mm Defender 110, at the expense of added rear overhang. The 130 will also have seating for eight passengers, while the 110 will be limited to seven with options for five, six or seven seats.
The 110 is dubbed Definitive Defender in the leaked documents, while the 90 is the Halo, Icon model. It also lists the 90 as being offered with a choice of five or six seats, suggesting a three-pew front row, but whether that is offered in Australia remains to be seen.
In good news for off-roaders, the leaked info reveals standard Defenders will be fitted with 18-inch wheels which, while not ideal, are better than the 19s on Discoverys and offer more off-road-suitable tyre choices. It also suggests there will be three specification levels with a choice of petrol, diesel and PHEV engines, all backed by an automatic transmission – no manual gearbox! These are European suggestions and Australian specs have yet to be revealed. We expect full local specs closer to launch in the second quarter of 2020.
UK’s Autocar magazine suggested the base model Defender 90 could sell for as much and £40,000 in the UK, which suggests a price upwards of $70,000 here. Expect that amount to quickly go north when you add options and climb through the S, SE and HSE specifications and option packages, with the 2022 Defender 130 HSE with the works to be more expensive than $150,000.
All the Defender wagons will ride on Land Rover’s aluminium monocoque chassis with full independent suspension. At least the upper-spec models will have height-adjustable air suspension and it remains to be seen if any model will be offered with steel coil springs. Expect a swag of electronic features and gizmos to improve its off-road abilities, in lieu of traditional wheel travel and locking differentials. Land Rover is promising the new Defender will be the most capable off-road vehicle the brand has ever produced.
The camouflaged Defender will appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is running from July 4-7.
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