There are, no doubt, thousands upon thousands of Land Rover enthusiasts scattered across the world clamoring with baited breath for any crumb of news about the all-new 2020 Defender—folks who set Google News alerts for “2020 Land Rover Defender,” contribute to forums dedicated to boxy British off-roaders, and order vanity plates like “4WDKING” for their classic, doted-upon Defenders.
Presumably, these are also the same sort of people who knew April 30th was also known as “World Land Rover Day,” a fact that had escaped us until now. But to mark that occasion—and throw a bone to the ravenous fans out there—Land Rover has released a new batch of images of the 2020 Defender, including one that gives us our best look yet at the next generation of JLR’s burliest, boxiest vehicle.
Well, “boxiest” is somewhat of a relative term. While the Defenders pictured still wear camouflage, one example—a prototype soon headed to Kenya’s Borana Conservancy to help the Tusk Trust, a British wildlife conservation non-profit, with its work—is clad in less cloaking material than the others—a skin-tight wrap instead of a three-dimensional disguise.
It’s that Tusk Trust Defender that gives us a look at the new model’s lines—and unexpected curves. While the shape after of the A-pillar looks every bit as square as expected from a Defender, the front fascia looks much more rounded than earlier images had led us to believe. Indeed, the curved headlights and rounded hood and chin bring to mind nothing so much as the original Land Rover Freelander.
Land Rover also took advantage of its self-titled holiday to reveal that, so far, the 2020 Defender development fleet has covered almost 750,000 miles during testing at locations across the planet, including vehicle dynamics development work at Germany’s famed Nurburgring Nordschleife, rock-crawling in Moab, Utah (where Jeep sends its own experimental off-roaders for work and play), winter driving work in Sweden, and city driving tests here in Gear Patrol‘s own hometown of New York.
As we mentioned earlier this month, the 2020 Land Rover Defender is expected to debut in September. Will it be a disappointment, or live up to all our expectations? Guess we’ll find out in a few months.