The slow drip of information about the long-awaited return of the Land Rover Defender continues apace, with the company issuing a mud-splattered teaser image just days before the truck’s release on September 10th in Frankfurt.
In true Land Rover form, the company will be putting the new Defender on a forced march from one of the most land-locked location on earth in Kazakhstan to the reveal site in Germany. Land Rover says it will be an overlanding adventure, explaining the mud-in-yer-teeth vibe of this teaser photo.
Across 71 years of building off-road rigs, Land Rover has earned its place in the hearts of explorers, humanitarian agencies, and adventurous families across the world. The company says this Defender will be no different, having been tested in the “harshest environments on earth,” though your author did not witness them trying to navigate his rural driveway last February.
Eagle-eyed photogs snapped what appeared to be an uncamouflaged Defender idling on the set of a new James Bond movie. If accurate, the new Defender will maintain the boxy stature of its forebears while integrating a raft of modern technologies. In fact, Land Rover themselves say the “new Defender delivers a transformational breadth of capability and advanced all-terrain technologies to redefine adventure for the 21st century.” Peeling back the marketing-speak, expect the thing to climb like a mountain goat while coddling like a spa.
Both two- and four-door variants of the Defender are expected, likely carrying the legacy nameplates of 90 and 110, respectively. Those numbers used to denote the truck’s wheelbase, with the four-door being longer, but that will not likely be the case this time around. Air suspension wouldn’t be a surprise, nor would all manner of terrain control and knobby off-road kit.
Turbocharged mills as found elsewhere in Land Rover’s lineup are likely to be found under the broad hood and don’t be surprised if there is a hybrid variant. Ardent fans of the Defender will likely be outraged no matter what the company decides to offer, so they might as well install the engines most likely to sell in mass numbers. Given current market trends, these options make a good deal of sense.
Order books for the new 4×4 will open at the world debut, assuring there will be a rush of fox hunters and British ex-pats tripping over themselves to thrust money into Land Rover coffers.