We knew the new Defender was coming. We even knew it was coming to America. It still is coming, but now it’s a little closer. The Next Land Rover Defender, heir to the legacy of the farm and adventure trucks that came out of Solihull, England from 1948 until 2016, will be introduced later this week but, thanks to some leaked magazine pages, we’ve got some more details now.
The soflorovers Instagram account has apparently leaked pages from South Africa’s SA4x4 magazine that purport to have details on the new 2020 Land Rover Defender. We don’t know if it’s legit yet, but it sure looks that way. Here’s what we can glean from this leak.
The screenshots seem to confirm that the Defender will launch in three-door 90 and five-door 110 body styles like the original Defender it replaces. The exterior should already be familiar as we’ve seen dashboard graphics and a LEGO set based on the three-door already but the five-door’s profile is brand new. The rumored 130 extended wheelbase is not mentioned, but earlier reports suggested that it would launch later on in any case.
The real news from this screenshot, aside from clear images of both the interior and exterior, are what appear to be the clearance statistics for the 110 five-door. With a reported 291 mm (11.45 inches) of ground clearance, a 900 mm (35.43 inches) maximum fording depth (which is five inches more than the JL Wrangler can take), and approach, break-over, and departure angles of 38 degrees, 28 degrees and 40 degrees respectively, the Defender is shaping up to be a tough competitor off road.
These stats aren’t the only off-road features the Defender reportedly brings to the table. The screenshot also details a standard locking central differential and optional locking rear diff as well as a new Terrain Response System that will reportedly provide a more hands-on set of tools for off-roaders in the new Defender than the completely analog setup offered in the previous truck.
While none of these details are confirmed, we do know that the new Defender has been tested for a life on the road as well as off of it, with prototypes spending time on the Nürburgring as well as in rutted woods. That testing combined with the reported Terrain Response System suggests that this truck represents a real departure from the prior model, but we’ll only be able to confirm that once Land Rover lets us have a good look at at it.
In terms of practicality, the screenshots claim a massive 2380 liter measurement for the 110's loadspace, and a jumpseat up front in the 90, meaning that the three-door will have room for six.
We will have a lot more to say come Tuesday when the Defender is officially unveiled, but until then, it seems we have a lot to look forward to. I’m hoping that we see a lower-spec model as well, with the white steelies from the second screenshot.
The Defender has always been a work truck. That’s how it became the legend it is. When we see the new one in the flesh on Tuesday, we’ll have a little more clarity as to whether that remains the case for the new one as well.