The 2020 Land Rover Defender Is an Adventure-Ready Luxury SUV

Here's your first look at the all-new version of the iconic British 4x4 that's coming to America.
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After almost a quarter-century absence, the brand new 2020 Land Rover Defender has made its triumphant return to North America as a totally modern luxury SUV with a serious off-road pedigree. 

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Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the brawny British utility vehicle is built on a purpose-engineered, lightweight aluminum chassis dubbed "D7x." Land Rover claims this is the stiffest body structure it has ever offered. 

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As Maxim previously reported, the platform was put through over 750,000 miles of real-world testing in some of the harshest environments imaginable, including sub-zero temps in the Arctic and 10,000 foot-high treks Rocky Mountains.

The Defender will be offered in two body styles, according to Road & Track. The two-door Defender 90 will seat either five or six with an optional foldable front middle seat. The four-door Defender 110 also has an available "5+2" configuration with a cargo-area jump seat. 

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U.S. buyers have the choice of two power plants: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, or a heftier 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that's boosted by a "mild" hybrid system with an electric supercharger and 48-volt battery. It cranks out 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.

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The former is good for a 7.7-second zero-to-60 mph time, the latter does the same in 5.7 seconds, and both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with permanent four-wheel drive. 

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With the larger engine, the Defender's maximum towing capacity is a formidable 8,201 pounds, which is competitive with light-duty pickup trucks.  It can also carry up to 661 pounds on the roof. 

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This is also the first-ever Land Rover offering to feature what's been dubbed "Configurable Terrain Response," allowing drivers to fine-tune settings for virtually any surface. One of the system's most impressive programs is "Wade," which gives the Defender the ability to safely cross water as deep as 35.5 inches. 

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The cockpit is loaded with technology and luxe finishes. A state-of-the-art infotainment system, 10-inch touchscreen, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch interactive display all come standard.

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R&T has further details on the interior: 

The dashboard is designed around a structural magnesium beam spanning the width of the interior, housing the instrument panel and the necessary touchscreen controls for climate and infotainment. A durable rubberized floor is standard, though you can fancy it up with optional luxurious carpeting, and upholstery is available in rugged textile, a textile/leather combination, or full leather. Open-pore wood trim, either walnut or dark oak, is available.

The Defender's digital systems are now capable of over-the-air software updates, and the automaker claims the infotainment and navigation systems have quicker response times and activate nearly immediately on vehicle start-up. An optional wrist-worn, waterproof Activity Key takes the place of the traditional key fob, with an LCD touchscreen that allows remote locking, unlocking, and keyless entry and start-up.

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Land Rover also offers four different "accessory packs," each of which is tailored toward conquering different environments.

The Explorer Pack is ideal for off-road adventures, equipped with a lightweight roof rack, side-mounted gear carrier, wheel arch protection. The Adventure Pack is for the outdoorsman and features a portable rinse system with a 1.7 gallon (6.5-liter) pressurized water reservoir, integrated air compressor and side-mounted gear carrier. 

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The Country Pack is similar to the Adventure Pack, but also has a rear scuff plate, while the Urban Pack gets stylish metalized pedals and large-diameter wheels.

The 2020 Land Rover 110 arrives stateside in the spring of 2020 with a $49,900 base price. The Defender 90 hits dealerships later in the year. 

Head to Land Rover's online configurator to start building your dream machine.