The Land Rover Defender is back. Britain’s answer to the Jeep Wrangler has been redesigned for 2020 with an aluminum body and high tech gear. Available in two-door and four-door models, the Defender features an optional air suspension that gives it up to 11.5 inches of ground clearance and the ability to wade through water nearly a yard deep. U.S. deliveries begin next spring at a starting price of $50,925.
After 37 years, what’s a few more months?
Production of the long-anticipated Land Rover Defender 90 SUV has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two-door version of the first all-new Defender since 1983 was set to launch as a 2020 model with the four-door Defender 110, but will now be released early next year as a 2021 model, a Land Rover spokesman told Automotive News.
A pop-up message on the company’s website notifies interested customers that “Defender 90 production and first customer deliveries have been delayed as a result COVID-19 related supply chain constraints.”
Defender 110 sales have begun, however, and Land Rover is working through a backlog of 20,000 orders, the spokesman said.
Production of the previous-generation Defender ended in 2016.
The Defender name was first used in 1983, but the model traces its roots to the 1948 Land Rover Series I, much like the Jeep Wrangler is the modern successor to the 1948 Willys-Overland CJ-1. Land Rover hasn’t offered a Defender in the U.S. since 1997.
The new Defender joins the recently redesigned Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes-Benz G-Class among a growing list of off-road SUV reboots that will soon include the upcoming Ford Bronco and all-electric GMC HUMMER EV.