Based on the teaser photos Land Rover released just after Christmas, the new Defender SUV doesn't look much like the classic boxy product last seen here in the 1990s.
That may rankle longtime diehard Defender fans, but Land Rover is promising the new version will be even more capable in extreme off-road conditions than the 1948-2016 Series 1, 2 and 3 and later Defender Land Rovers.
"With an all new exterior and interior design, as well as a suite of the latest driver assistance and connectivity features available, the next-generation Defender will be a revolutionary product for Land Rover with even broader public appeal," Land Rover said in a statement. The vehicle will debut this year and go on sale in 2020, the first time since 1997 the Defender has been available in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
Few technical details are available, but the Defender likely will be powered by only JLR's turbocharged Ingenium gasoline and diesel engines. JLR's contract to buy most of its engines from Ford Motor Co. has ended. And although the new teaser photos show only a four-door Defender, a smaller Jeep Wrangler-like two-door has been seen testing in the U.K.
Land Rover will be dribbling out product details throughout the year. Dealers already have started taking orders for the highly anticipated SUV, says Andy Vine, chairman of the Jaguar Land Rover Retailer Cabinet.