The list of iconic vehicle nameplates in the world isn’t necessarily a long one — things like the Porsche 911 or the Ford Mustang or the Jeep Wrangler come to mind — but there’s one nameplate that you may not be terribly familiar with, but is equally iconic: the Land Rover Defender. The Defender hasn’t been sold in the U.S. since 1997, which is probably why you may not know it, but it’s a beloved 4×4 off-roader for the rest of the world. With the popularity of big, expensive luxury SUVs back en vogue, Land Rover thought now would be a great time to bring the nameplate back, and it’s coming to the U.S. next year following its big North American debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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Unlike the Jeep Wrangler, with which the Land Rover will compete when you consider that the Wrangler tops out above $60,000 for a loaded Rubicon trim, this is only officially the second generation of the Defender since its introduction. So, if you’re used to how it previously looked, that’s understandable: The new one is a complete departure from the slab-sided, riveted-together look of the old one.
Initially, it’s going to come in two versions: the Defender 90 two-door and the Defender 110 four-door, with the four-door showing up first on dealer lots earlier next year. It’s clear that the Defender uses its heritage as inspiration for the new model, instead of a rigid tradition like the Wrangler or Porsche do. It’s much larger and more aerodynamic than before, and it’s switched to a unibody platform shared with the Land Rover Discovery.
Check out the video below to find out all the details we know about this reincarnated icon. You can see it for yourself when the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public Friday (running through Dec. 1).
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