The Defender’s ancestors, the Land Rover Sequence 1 and Sequence 2, turned into international icons within the 1950s and ’60s when adventurers used them to traverse the sector’s most harsh terrain — African deserts, South American jungles and frozen tundras. The unique Land Rovers had been by no means probably the most comfy. However they had been just about unstoppable and very sturdy and dependable.
That, and the Defender’s rudimentary design, made it an icon that transcended the automobile business, similar to the Volkswagen Beetle or Mini Cooper. No new model of the Defender was once going to attraction to a lot of those that love the vintage style. However Land Rover may no longer simply carry out a brand new Defender that gave the look of the previous one and hope to draw a brand new technology of patrons. The car’s styling, era, creature comforts, capacity and refinement needed to evolve, and it has.
Nonetheless, when leaked photographs of the brand new Defender began to appear on-line over the weekend, the carping began. The brand new Defender has drawn comparisons to the Honda Component, Kia Soul, Ford Flex. However a better have a look at the brand new model finds that McGovern’s crew paid the precise homage to the vintage Defender with the form of the brand new one. (See infographic beneath.)
The 2020 Defender has a variety of heritage styling cues inside and outside with out being a unfashionable car. And that, in my estimation, is the best path. Unfashionable styling is a lifeless finish. Aside from for the present Dodge Challenger and Mini Cooper, and just lately interred Volkswagen Beetle, few retro-styled automobiles have accomplished sustained good fortune.
Whilst appears to be like are essential to Defender shoppers, so is capacity. Land Rover has pioneered applied sciences that no longer most effective building up the facility of its off-road automobiles to get via swamps and deep sand, however which can be much less destructive to the surroundings than its vintage automobiles. The brand new Defender is more secure, smarter and cleaner than the car it replaces.
Land Rover’s North American advertising and marketing leader, Kim McCullough –- who owns a 1956 Land Rover –- has pushed the most recent Defender and says the ones conversant in the unique style will straight away acknowledge the brand new one. However there’s a distinction: The brand new Defender, she says, will also be pushed lengthy distances with out beating the driving force and passengers to a pulp.