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New Land Rover Defender Will Get a Diesel in the U.S. and Seat Up to Eight: Report

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Photo: Land Rover
Photo: Land Rover

Nobody has to worry about squeezing their extended family in the back of the upcoming all-new 2020 Land Rover Defender, with multiple reports of three different models stretching all the way up to an eight-seater. Apparently, Americans will be lucky enough to get a diesel, too.

Automotive News reports the three models are taking on the classic Land Rover Defender model designations, with 90, 110 and 130, despite those numbers no longer reflecting the actual wheelbase length. Here’s more details on the model breakdown from AutoNews:

The three variants will be:

  • The three-door Defender 90. This will have five- and six-seat versions and will grow in length to 170 inches from less than 158 inches in the previous generation.
  • The five-door Defender 110. This will have five-, six- and seven-seat versions. It will increase in length to 187 inches.
  • The Defender 130. This variant will be a five-door, eight-seat passenger vehicle that is 201 inches. Previously, the Defender 130 was sold only as a double-cab pickup.

As much as I would like to see the inward-facing, side-mounted bench seats return to the new Defender, changes to laws in the European Union forced the outgoing Defender to switch to forward-facing seats only back in 2007, so it’s not likely Land Rover can get away with it anymore.

There’s also an allegedly leaked Land Rover presentation that provides more details on what to expect from the new Defender, with slides posted to the forums, which was reported on by Autocar:

Under the bonnet of the 90 and 110 models, there will be a choice of three petrol and three diesel engines in 2020 and 2021 and all Defenders will come as standard with an autobox and all-wheel drive.

The diesel units will be offered in D200, D240 (four cylinder) and D300 300bhp(straight six) forms, with 0-62mph times of around 10.0sec, 8.3sec and 7.4sec respectively. It’s understood the D300 will be the only diesel engine offered in North American markets and arrives for the 2021 model year.

Three petrol Defender engines - the P300, P400 and the P400e Plug-in Hybrid - will be on sale immediately. These are thought to all be straight-six units, and will be sold in the US, where many states adhere to the same strict ‘SULEV’ pollution regime as California. According to the leak, the plug-in P400 offers a torque boost from 400Nm to 645Nm and a 5.9sec 0-62mph time, Autocar understands.


The allegedly leaked presentation also clues us into how Land Rover will market each new model of the Defender, with the 90 described as the halo model targeting those that want a Defender for the style and image. The 110 is described as the “definitive Defender,” for those with adventurous lifestyles, and the 130 is described as the “Premium Explorer” for families who have an “active lifestyle and travel.”

The new Defender is reported to be officially revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and the 90 and 110 are expected to go on sale next year with the larger eight-seat 130 model coming much later, about 12 months after the other two.