It was actually a fairly badly-kept secret, but now Land Rover has made it official: The British automaker will bring the Defender nameplate back to the North American market after an absence of just over 20 years.
The company also revealed further details about its iconic all-terrain roamer, early images of which had already showed us to the extent of the testing the model is going through to ensure its off-road capabilities are up to snuff.
We know that the model will be offered in both two-door and four-door configurations, and that its boxy overall shape will remain fairly true to the old Defender. The big change has to do with the inclusion of all-wheel independent suspension in lieu of the old rigid axles.
We have no doubt the new Defender will be highly capable, but one of the things that made the old one so attractive was its rough-and-tumble character. Can’t stop progress, it seems…
We’ll know more about the revived Defender as we head into 2019, especially as Land Rover has confirmed it will hit the market as a 2020 model. We do expect that it will be sold first in Europe before crossing the Atlantic to our market.
Which means, a realistic go-to-market date for Canadian consumers is sometime in 2020.