One of the most iconic 4x4s ever built is making a comeback. The Land Rover Defender—the boxy, British-built truck with a legendary reputation for gobbling up gnarly terrain across the globe—has been redesigned, and was unveiled today at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.
“This is a new Defender for a new age,” Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief design officer, said in a press release.
The new Defender has been generating buzz for a while, but this is the first official look at the redesigned rig. Like previous generations of Defenders, it’ll be available as a long wheelbase version (the 110) and a short wheelbase version (the 90), although the longer model will go on sale first. The new trucks retain the boxy shape of the earlier generations—albeit with sleeker, more rounded edges—as well as the short front and rear overhangs that allow Defenders to climb over obstacles with ease.
But the latest Land Rover isn’t just nice to look at. It’s tricked out for some punishing rides in the dirt. The new Defender comes equipped with permanent four-wheel drive and features fully independent suspension, a two-speed transfer case, and a locking center differential. It also has a new “Configurable Terrain Response” system that allows drivers to tweak the truck’s performance for various ground conditions. On top of that, it has a maximum payload of up to 1,984 pounds, can tow up to 8,201 pounds, and can wade into water up to 35.4 inches deep.
Although Land Rover hasn’t yet released stats on the drivetrain options, we do know that the truck will be available with gas and diesel engines, and a plug-in electric hybrid option will join the lineup next year.
While the off-road performance is classic Land Rover, the interior of the new truck is a far cry from the bare-bones Defenders of years past. It features a 10-inch touchscreen “PIVI Pro” infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can receive over-the-air software updates for ongoing upgrades.
In addition, Land Rover is releasing four Accessory Packs to kit out your truck, including extras like a side-mounted gear carrier, a roof rack, and even an air compressor, so you can be ready for any and all off-road adventures.
[Starting at $49,900 for the Defender 110; landroverusa.com]