Land Rover has been operational in India for over a decade now, but it never brought the classic Defender here. However, there is a plan to launch the next-gen Defender, in late-2020.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender will be introduced as a CBU import and will be positioned as an adventure/luxury vehicle. It will be locally assembled later, though, as earlier seen in the case of Discovery Sport and Evoque. The model set to be imported in India is the long-wheelbase Defender 110 (5-door). The go-anywhere SUV in its all-new avatar was unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. It has been aimed to appeal as a sophisticated lifestyle product as well as a classically no-frills off-roader.
Land Rover has showcased the all-new Defender in a 5-door version (Defender 110) and a shorter 3-door version (Defender 90). The latter will be launched internationally at a later stage. In India, this 3-door version might not be sold owing to low demand for 3-door SUVs. However, the low demand for 3-door SUVs hasn't demotivated the company from selling the 3-door Evoque (first-gen) here, and maybe it will experiment with 3-door Defender in limited volumes at some point.
In terms of exterior design, the new-gen Defender has evolved gracefully into a more sophisticated SUV while retaining its old school looks with the boxy body. Some of the promising headline figures on the vehicle include a 900 mm maximum wading depth, a 38-degree approach angle, a 40-degree departure angle, 291 mm of ground clearance and 300 kg roof load and up to 3,500 kg towing capability.
On the inside, the next-gen Land Rover Defender uses a vast flat-top dashboard which is a structural part of the vehicle and is cast from magnesium alloy. The dash has been lower set for enhanced visibility and houses a 10.0-inch screen with Pivi Pro (Land Rover’s next-generation infotainment system). The new infotainment system is designed to offer a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, and it supports OTA system updates.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender utilises the company's D7x platform thanks to which it has the stiffest body structure to be ever produced by the British marque. D7x is a remastered version of an existing modular architecture but it is still claimed to be 95% new. This platform, obviously, also supports mild-electric powertrains. To say it out loud, the all-new model has a car-like monocoque construction.
The off-road capabilities of the new-age Land Rover Defender is complemented by dedicated features such as a four-wheel drivetrain, a twin-speed transmission, locking centre differential, active rear locking differential and a choice of independent air or coil spring suspension. It also comes with Configurable Terrain Response and features three levels of throttle and gearbox sensitivity to suit all kind of drivers.
The new-age Land Rover Defender will be available with a choice of four- and six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines internationally. A plug-in hybrid variant will join the portfolio in 2020. The conventional engine will include the 300 PS P300 four-cylinder and the 400 PS P400 six-cylinder petrol units and the 200 PS D200 and the 240 PS D240 four-cylinder diesel units.
[Source: Autocar India]