At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover unveiled its all-new Defender SUV.
The Land Rover Defender has a rich legacy, dating back over 70 years. But it was discontinued in 2016 – and hadn’t been legal for the US since the late 1990s. The new version is a revival that after many absent years will bring the Defender back to the US market.
The long-wheelbase Defender 110 will arrive in spring 2020, priced at just under $50,000 with a four-cylinder engine. The most expensive Defender will be $81,000. A short wheelbase SUV arrives in late 2020.
The new Defender was tested in a wide range of challenging environments to live up to its off-road legacy, but the vehicle is more stylish and high-tech than Defenders of the past.
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Few SUVs have as much pure off-road credibility as the legendary Land Rover Defender. The Ultimate Expedition Machine dates back seven decades and has done it all, from crossing mountains to fording rivers and everything imaginable in between.

The previous generation Defender traces back to the early 1980s (updated in the 1990s), but it fell short of US regulations in the late ’90s and hasn’t been available in the American market since. The vehicle was also discontinued in 2016, with the expectation that an updated, redesigned SUV would follow.
After a wait, it’s arrived. Land Rover pulled the cover off at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Here’s a closer look at the new Defender, in all its glory:
See also:Apply here to attend IGNITION: Transportation, an event focused on the future of transportation, in San Francisco on October 22.
The all-new Land Rover Defender debuted at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

Foto: The new Land Rover Defender.sourceJaguar Land Rover
The Defender has set a formidable ruggedness standard for over seven decades. The outgoing model dated to the early 1980s, but had been put out to pasture in 2016.

Foto: The old Land Rover Defender.sourceJaguar Land Rover
A typical Defender adventure included some partially submerged time.

Foto: The Land Rover Defender easily wades through water.sourceJaguar Land Rover
While the outgoing Defender, with its boxy styling, proclaimed a utilitarian mission, the redesigned Defender arguably projects a slightly less no-nonsense demeanor.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
“The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it,” Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s head designer, said in a statement.
“This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”
The Defender will ultimately be available in both two- and four-door configurations: the 110 is the long wheelbase version, while the 90 is shorter.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
According to Land Rover, six trim designations will be offered: Defender, Defender S, Defender SE, Defender HSE, Defender X, and Defender First Edition.
The new Defender might lose some cred with the purists because it won’t be a made-in-England machine. Manufacturing will be handled in the Slovak Republic.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
Fears should be put to rest by JLR’s extensive torture-testing of the new Defender.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
The SUV has negotiated everything from rocky, roadless terrain …

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
… To Germany’s famed Nurburgring race track.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
A Defender isn’t a Defender if it isn’t up to the challenge of adventures in rough country.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
The SUBV needs to be able to rock-crawl with its four-wheel-drive system …

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
… Manage extreme inclines …

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
… ford rivers …

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
… and get down and dirty and wet and muddy. The Defender can deal with water almost three feet deep, and it can tow more than 8,000 pounds. Its Terrain Response 2 tech can be customized by the driver, depending on conditions.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
“Raised air intakes are a vital addition in dusty locations, protecting the engine by delivering cleaner air from their elevated position, and the Defender is available with a close-fitting semi-integrated design that fits neatly onto the side-mounted engine air intake in the front fender, to preserve performance in dusty environments,” Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement.
Bring on the deserts!
That said, the Defender has also been designed for less demanding duty.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover outlined several add-on “packs” that owners can use to accessorize their Defender for different obligations.
The Explorer Pack provides an expedition roof rack, exterior side-mounted gear carrier, wheel arch protection and a spare wheel cover. “A matte black hood decal, featuring ’90’ or ‘110’ cut-out detailing, completes the Explorer Pack’s head-turning appearance,” Jaguar Land Rover said.
The Adventure Pack offers a portable rinse system with a 1.7 gallon-pressurized water reservoir, trunk-mounted integrated air compressor, and an exterior side-mounted gear carrier.
The Country Pack adds wheel arch protection, a rear scuff plate, the aforementioned rinse system and a cargo partition.
The Urban Pack has the rear scuff plate and the spare wheel cover, as well as a front undershield.
Two powertrains will be offered to US buyers. The P300 turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 296 horsepower and promises a 0-60 mph time of just under eight seconds, while the P400 is a mild hybrid six-cylinder making 395 hp, with a sub-six-second 0-60mph time. Both engines are yoked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
While on-road, drivers and passengers will benefit from “emergency braking, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition, cruise control and speed-limiter functions, driver condition monitor, and front and rear parking aids,” the company said. Safety first!

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
Unlike some of the hardtail SUVs of old, the Defender’s D7x engineering, as explained by Jaguar Land Rover, makes use of a lightweight, stiff aluminum monocoque assembly and four-wheel independent suspension, versus a body-on-frame steel construction with rear leaf-springs.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
The interiors combine versatility and durability with premium appointments for the upscale trims, including leather upholstery and wood details. A non-leather premium wool upholstery treatment is also an option.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
The Defender will be a connected expedition vehicle. An available Online Pack provides “unlimited data for music streaming, weather updates and calendar information via the infotainment screen,” the automaker said. Wi-Fi will also be an option, via subscription.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
A top-range Meridian audio system will have a 14-speaker, 700-watt setup available.
The Defender 110 starts at $49,900 and goes on sales next spring. The Defender 90 follows later in 2019. The most expensive configuration of the 110 is the X edition with the inline six engine, priced at about $81,000.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover
The world has been waiting three years for its new Defender, and Land Rover has delivered with style and purpose.

Foto: sourceJaguar Land Rover

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