RE: 'The toughest, most capable Land Rover ever'

RE: 'The toughest, most capable Land Rover ever'

Friday 10th May

Best look yet at 2020 Land Rover Defender: Update!

JLR brings a lightly camouflaged Defender prototype to the next Invictus Games' host city



UPDATE - 10.05.2019

As part of its plans to really emphasise that the upcoming Defender will be tougher than ever, Land Rover has brought one of its prototypes to 2020 Invictus Games host city, The Hague. Founder of the games, Prince Harry, and medal-winner Jack Pastora met the 4x4, which was dressed in the games colours, offering a closer glimpse of JLR’s next model – and providing an effective distraction from speculation of an impending PSA company takeover

Even with thinner camouflage to hide it, the prototype’s front-end still looks to take heavy inspiration from the Disco 4, with a similarly squared-off face and squarer headlights than anything else in Land Rover’s present line-up. There remain hints of DC100 in the lenses, while the rest of the body looks to continue that concept’s boxy theme – as have all the other prototypes that have been seen testing around the world (more on that below).

Some may be disappointed at the lack of retro design features to draw links to the old Defender – although it’s never looked likely that we’d see a G-Class-esq reimagination of the original. Instead, it seems JLR wants to expand the remit of its Defender to increase sales, with an exterior to be accepted by a wider audience and much, much better on-road usability – as illustrated by the inline-six car we spotted at the ‘Ring – alongside its tough, off-road credentials.

PREVIOUS STORY - 03.05.2019


You might assume that Land Rover’s pledge to make the next Defender its most capable model yet applies to the vehicle’s off-road abilities, but the most recent sighting of a test car at the Nurburgring suggests the brand’s ambitions go much further than that. In the spy video below, the inline six-powered Defender we saw in March is back out being driven in a manner that would have put the original on its roof by the third turn, backing suggestion a performance version is due with some very undefenderlike road holding.

Using JLR’s new turbocharged 3.0-litre engine, it could have a power output to rival the old and better-endowed Defender Works V8, a 380hp model that was produced last year and sold out in just four weeks – confirming there’s no shortage of demand for potent, boxy Landys. But unlike the 2018 cars, the 2020 Defender will use JLR’s state-of-the-art MLA aluminium underpinnings with independent rear suspension. The effects of this modern setup are clear on our sighted test car, which looks fairly comfortable being driven at pace on circuit.

Still, that doesn’t mean we’re looking at a full-blown road-biased Defender; the large profile tyres hint at an off-road focus. Which might help to appease those who can’t imagine a Defender as anything but the most rugged option of its class. More on JLR’s ambitions for that below…

 

ORIGINAL STORY - 30.04.2019


We don’t need Land Rover to tell us how extensive the testing programme for the next-gen Defender has been; numerous sightings of development cars on and off roads the world over have confirmed that. But for anyone doubting the workload, JLR has revealed the far-reaching locations that prototypes of its fleet have been driven for a combined 750,000 miles of testing – which, we should add, excludes the rig and simulation tests it had done before that.

These days, big numbers for testing are commonplace, but the extremities of JLR’s programme are among the greatest we’ve seen. Sure, Gaydon and the Nurbugring have played some of the biggest roles in evaluating the Defender’s tarmac handling abilities, with the latter backing speculation around the arrival of an inline six-version. But its most challenging tests, like those in the freezing climate of Sweden’s Arjeplog and contrastingly scorched rock paths of Nevada’s Death Valley, emphasise JLR’s desire to make the “toughest and most capable Land Rover ever made”.


This requirement will, of course, include life in the city, which is why London, New York and Dubai have hosted Defenders as well. European proving grounds MIRA and Lommel, alongside Italy’s Covara (for its challenging mountain routes) have allowed engineers to fine-tune performance, while reliability has been tested on inclines higher than 10,000 feet above sea level and temperatures ranging from -40 to 50 Celsius. And the testing continues, as JLR is now supplying its prototypes to the Tusk Trust animal conservation charity in Africa.

“We’ve driven the new Defender across all terrains and in extreme climates,” said Nick Rogers, JLR’s product engineering boss, “and the incredible opportunity to put it to the test in the field, supporting operations at the Borana Conservancy in Kenya with Tusk, will allow our engineers to verify that we are meeting our target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”

Although production cars won’t reach roads until 2020, the Defender’s design will be revealed later this year – an event likely to send the PH forums into overdrive, judging by the extent of the discussion so far. Because while few of us would doubt the off-road capabilities of JLR’s aluminium Modular Longitudinal Architecture-based 4x4, its design is arguably as important in ensuring it picks up the baton from one of British industry’s greatest legends. If it looks like a boxier Evoque, would any of us lot embrace it? Or will JLR take the G-Class route and keep things retro? We know where our money is...








Author
Discussion

mko9

Original Poster:

961 posts

153 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
From the looks of it, they built a Discovery 4+?

Macboy

402 posts

146 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
My thought exactly - it’s a hard-core Discovery - the final picture is without the cladding and has few Defender design cues In it’s overall shape. It has to be design details that’ll give it Defender context.

dvshannow

939 posts

77 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
It has a chassis? Or is this based on the disco 5 and basically a reshaped shell minus the comfort features and more off road ability?

spikyone

308 posts

41 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Sadly all LR/RR models since the Evoque have looked like the Evoque. Unless you park them next to each other it's near impossible to tell them apart. I hope I'm wrong, but I imagine this will go the same way.

Tlandcruiser

2,165 posts

139 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
quite disapointed with this, hopefully I can see it differently when they release normal pictures
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uremaw

272 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all

I was disappointed until I saw the final picture - where a lot of the cladding has been removed. There are definitely very strong Defender cues there - especially from the B pillar back. Quietly optimistic...

easytiger123

1,701 posts

150 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
spikyone said:
Sadly all LR/RR models since the Evoque have looked like the Evoque. Unless you park them next to each other it's near impossible to tell them apart. I hope I'm wrong, but I imagine this will go the same way.
I'm not particularly eagle-eyed, but even I can tell the difference between most models in the LR line-up. There are some styling cues they share as is the case with all manufacturers, but they are sufficiently different surely to be able to tell them apart at even a casual glance?

jhonn

1,082 posts

90 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Looking forward to it! It'll be great on and off-road - downsides are it probably won't be cheap (got to keep the brand upmarket) and it won't be simple (but then again the last Defender wasn't that simple either).

Hopefully it will carry over some of the functionality - low range 'box, ability to tow 3.5 tons, modular design, etc

It's going to be a smash hit for Land Rover.

chickensoup

412 posts

196 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Needs to grab the old Discovery market
All the farmers around here used to drive Disco 4; none have a Disco 5

If they want a credible workhorse - put the spare somewhere else, hitching up a trailer will be a PITA with a door mounted spare

KP328

1,461 posts

136 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Some nice photo's of the new Discovery Defender. No photo's of it doing the school run though where most of them will be seen.

mat205125

15,540 posts

154 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Really interested in this new direction for the Defender.

I'll not be in the queue for a new one, however in a handful of years might fancy a used one.

I have sympathy for Land Rover, as targeting and pitching their design to the market is an impossible task that can never please everyone.

It's not going to be a utilitarian and value for money workhorse for farmers, that's for sure. The L200 and Hilux do that better than Land Rover can hope to emulate.

I'm not sure if a version for the UK / NATO military is even part of the design criteria.

It'll undeniably be a "lifestyle" choice for urban use, and occasional trips to the stables for Polly's riding lessons, and that in itself will irritate many, albeit probably not Land Rover ....... Land Rover know their market and their buyers, and who have money to squeeze, and it's not going to be the guys from the Fast Show, no matter how much we'd like the new Defender to be a bargain, low spec, workhorse.


mat205125

15,540 posts

154 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
easytiger123 said:
spikyone said:
Sadly all LR/RR models since the Evoque have looked like the Evoque. Unless you park them next to each other it's near impossible to tell them apart. I hope I'm wrong, but I imagine this will go the same way.
I'm not particularly eagle-eyed, but even I can tell the difference between most models in the LR line-up. There are some styling cues they share as is the case with all manufacturers, but they are sufficiently different surely to be able to tell them apart at even a casual glance?
yes

It's far easier to distinguish the Land Rover models from one another, than the saloons and coupes from Audi, Mercedes or BMW for example.

The question of why there needs to be so many different flavours, and what the USP is for each, is a little harder to answer, admittedly.

4Q

2,002 posts

85 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
chickensoup said:
Needs to grab the old Discovery market
All the farmers around here used to drive Disco 4; none have a Disco 5

If they want a credible workhorse - put the spare somewhere else, hitching up a trailer will be a PITA with a door mounted spare
This, I would’ve bought a new Discovery 5 last year to replace my 10 year old Disco 3 if; a) it wasn’t so fking ugly from the back, b) it was less of a Chelsea tractor (don’t you have enough of those LR?) and more utilitarian as I put bikes, skis and muddy dogs in the back of mine and c) if it wasn’t so fking ugly from the back.
We bought a new Velar for my wife this year which is a lovely place to ride in comfort but not any use as replacement for mine as it’s too smart.
I hope this this falls somewhere between old Defender and Disco 5 as I really cant find anything else to replace mine with as nothing comes close as comfortable utility vehicle.

deltashad

6,712 posts

138 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Looks ok. Doesnt seem to follow the present design brief for LR.
Would be good to see some bog standard versions, vans etc.

bearman68

2,581 posts

73 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Wonder what price they're going to charge for it. For it to complete it's design brief IMO it has to have:-

1) Ability to tow 3.5t.
2) Genuine off road ability.
3) Proper transfer box, and a manual option.
4) Hugely reduced electronic control. I'll allow electric windows, ABS, and a clever anti slip function on the wheels. Electronic engine control of course, but not much more.
5) Ability to be cleaned out with a jet washer.
6) Be less than £30k OTR.

I suspect the last 3 things will not happen.
Looking forward to seeing what they do.

Pie-n-Peys

138 posts

59 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
bearman68 said:
6) Be less than £30k OTR.
No chance.

Burwood

12,109 posts

187 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Pie-n-Peys said:
bearman68 said:
6) Be less than £30k OTR.
No chance.
It will start at 36k. It might be the first LR I buy. In ott Tonka style. Light bar, massive tyres. Shnoorkel
It needs a winch and a roof rack.

Edited by Burwood on Tuesday 30th April 08:06

richs2891

751 posts

194 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Some very good quality pics there, guessing JLR released pictures ?

Agree with above looks like a Disco 4. But a simplified Disco 3 or 4 seems to be the sensible route to go

Edited by richs2891 on Tuesday 30th April 08:05


Edited by richs2891 on Tuesday 30th April 08:07

richthebike

427 posts

78 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
Sadly, despite all those miles, it doesn't sound like they've tested the most important bit very thoroughly... taking it to a dealership and getting good service.


If you think this looks like an Evoke then you probably can't read a number plate at 67 feet either, so we can safely say it isn't aimed at you.

GranCab

1,454 posts

87 months

Tuesday 30th April
quotequote all
KP328 said:
Some nice photo's of the new Discovery Defender. No photo's of it doing the school run though where most of them will be seen.
0/10 for originality ...