Details have been scarce, but a new Land Rover Defender is coming. What we know so far is that it will come to the US and will likely share some components with other Jaguar Land Rover products. Even though the company is not releasing any details, here’s everything we’ve been able to glean.
Will Debut in 2019, Will Be Sold in America
Land Rover has announced that the Defender will debut in 2019 and hit dealers in 2020. It’ll be the first Defender sold in the US since 1997.
A new patent application from Jaguar Land Rover shows a central tire inflation system that could be destined for the new Defender. The patent application shows a very detailed system that interacts with various modules in the vehicle and adjusts tire pressures based on drive mode. The usual functions of a central tire inflation system are displayed, but JLR takes it a step further by integrating features such as a “Puncture Assist Mode.”
The features that are integrated into the drive modes appear to offer tire inflation for various environments and circumstances. The base or interim tire inflation pressure is set to 29 PSI and is adjusted based on the option selected. The example for the standard on road mode is set to 33 PSI in the front with 36 PSI in the rear. These pressures are very similar to what is listed on the placard for the current Land Rover Discovery, which is on the same platform that should underpin the Defender.
The first bit of information that shows up on multiple profiles is that the vehicle has been assigned a project code of L663, a project name of “Darwin,” and it rides on the D7U platform. This platform is aluminum intensive and is currently used by vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport and Discovery, so the Defender will likely have some similarities in the chassis.
Multiple project descriptions show the L663 Defender listed alongside the L462 Discovery, so it is very likely that the Defender and Discovery will share some amount of components and technology. Since it will be so similar to the Discovery, it is not surprising to find out that the Defender is likely to be produced at the new Jaguar Land Rover factory in Nitra, Slovakia. The Land Rover Discovery started production there last month and profiles for project managers on site show that they are setting up tooling for the Defender in the same location. Other profiles show that training for project “Darwin” started in Nitra earlier this year.