There’s no denying the intensity of the anticipation around the new Land Rover Defender. It’s on a very short list of the most eagerly-awaited automotive arrivals of the year, much like the Toyota Supra was. And just like the Supra, the Defender faces an uphill battle against critics, mainly in the form of enthusiasts and troglodyte purists. However, based on the newest images of the 2020 Defender undergoing field testing in Africa, any fears that the British off-roader will fall short of expectations can be put to rest.
The press release from Land Rover shows the new Defender finishing up a round of real-world testing in Kenya, assisting wildlife managers to maintain the 14,000-hectare Borana Conservancy. In the images, it looks like the Defender has shed a decent amount of body camouflage, giving us our best look yet at the new vehicle. Land Rover peeled away some of the camo from the hood and around the beltline, revealing a better-balanced front end than earlier images suggested, and more refined character lines running the length of the cab.
The images also appear to show a snorkel attached to the driver’s side A-pillar, which presumably means Land Rover expects the new Defender to be able to go through just as much hell as any old Defender can.
There’s still no official word on engines (though JLR’s existing inline-six and inline-four powerplants seem likely), performance specs or price, but with the unveiling set for this coming September, expect more details to trickle out over the next few months. Until then, these stunning photos of the 2020 Defender criss-crossing the wilds of Kenya will have to suffice.
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