Prince Harry may now be a father but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like his own toys. The new dad was spotted checking out a 2020 Land Rover Defender designed to endorse next year's Invictus Games. The forthcoming 4x4 is still disguised but in photos released yesterday, we can clearly see the new model’s design details.
The 2020 Defender features a boxy front end and square light units, while the sides display flared box arches and a vertical boot line. In the rear, the cutouts on both sides of the external spare wheel expose the position of the tail light units, which resemble the backlights of the original.
The original Land Rover, which debuted on April 30, 1948, at the Amsterdam Motor Show, has become a British icon. Not resigned to rest on its laurels though, the Defender prototype will be tested in the Borana Conservancy, pulling heavy loads, crossing rivers and transporting supplies across 14,000 hectares of rugged terrain. The vehicle is expected to complete more than 45,000 individual tests before hitting the market next year.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover’s Executive Director of Product Engineering said, “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 this target as we enter the final phase of our development programme.”
Other details that clearly identify the new Defender as a Land Rover include a clear round headlamp with small indicator bulbs to the side. as well as the sides that narrow towards the roof and a side-hinged tailgate that opens the luggage bay. The four-door test vehicle features a large, flat bonnet enclosed in heavy cladding, with a thin grille below, and vents behind the front wheel arches.
The new Defender will sport an aluminum body mounted on an aluminum chassis. JLR executive, Dr. Ralph Speth, said, “We’re already doing this now… We used the modular architecture and elements of our chassis for weight reduction to make the new Discovery a better-handling car. We will do so also in the future because we always learn.”
Happy #WorldLandRoverDay - Welcome #Best4x4xFar. From the heat of the desert, to the bitter cold of the arctic, the new Defender has travelled the world and tested to the limit:— Land Rover UK PR (@LandRoverUKPR) April 30, 2019
❄ -40 degrees
🏔10,000ft maximum altitude
🔬 45,000 tests pic.twitter.com/sqbInzjlVx
In an image shown on social media, the interior of the new Land Rover Defender showed a large infotainment screen, a digital instrument binnacle, and a multifunction steering wheel. There is also believed to be a three-seat layout, and a quirky set of pedals labeled GO and STOP. At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Jaguar Land Rover's chief marketing officer Felix Bräutigam said, "The new Defender will not simply be a copy-cat, something retro. It will be something that moves the game on for Land Rover."
He also added, "Our first, really excited customers should have their cars by 2020. We will stage it properly; the train has left the station, but we are not rushing to a specific date. It’s exciting to now start getting one step closer to officially announcing the rebirth of an icon." Sounds perfect for someone who just announced the birth of his son.
The new Defender has been designed and developed at the Land Rover’s engineering facility in Gaydon. Global production will take place at the newly-opened manufacturing plant in Nitra, Slovakia.