The Land Rover Defender is coming back to America

The Land Rover Defender is almost more legend than reality, at least in the United States. The closest living relative to the original Land Rover was sold in the United States from 1993-97, along with a few grey-market imports before that. With its classic design and go-anywhere hardware the Defender, like the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen, is coveted both by serious adventurers and (more often the case) poseurs who want to project that same image. Due to its scarcity Defenders of all conditions command prices seem out of line with the spartan interior and agricultural level of driving refinement.

Starting in 2020, though, you can buy a brand new Defender in the United States.

Just like Mercedes-Benz’s boxy, beefy SUV, the Defender will be updated for the 21st century. But the promise of off road proficiency remains the same: Land Rover is touting this will be the most capable, rugged Land Rover yet. The full production model will be revealed in late 2019, and will go on sale sometime in 2020. There are few details beyond those sparse facts, and Land Rover representative would not reveal even a morsel of additional information. Land Rover is playing the typical automaker game to milk as much news as possible for a big model name. Expect a slow trickle of press releases in the next 12 months.

Land Rover Defender driving
Land Rover
2020 Land Rover climbing a hill
Land Rover

Land Rover Defender with the NYC skyline
Land Rover

If you don’t want to wait, however, our friends at Car and Driver have more info on the next-generation Defender. C/D claims the SUV will use the same aluminum unibody construction as the Range Rover and Defender. The Defender will also use Jaguar Land Rover’s current lineup of inline-four engines as well as a new inline-six.

How much will it cost? That’s anybody’s guess, and any wise conjecture would lean toward “Expensive.” Of course, with primo examples old Defenders like this 1993 that sold for $93,110 in August, 2018 going for big money, the new version could cost less than an old one. Which would you rather have, modern convenience, or old-school charm?

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