Spied (Again): 2020 Land Rover Defender 2-door SWB
As the off-road community continues to hold its breath amidst fear of the Land Rover Defender getting Independent Front Suspension for the first time, the namesake’s overhaul and subsequent release is getting closer with every passing day. And, as is tradition for automakers now, that means taunting us who care by testing the upcoming vehicle out on public streets wearing not-doing-much-to-fool-us camo, as a deliberate tactic to keep us on the hook for the reveal as much as it is to see how it performs in the real world. And with the company rolling out a new vehicle as important– conceptually and with regard to its significance to the brand, at least– as this, they have to do every bit of recon they can.
With each passing week we seem to get a slightly better look at the 2020 Land Rover Defender, a vehicle set to redefine the brand’s durable, stoic off-road focused halo vehicle. Pictured above is one of the recent spy photos from Autoblog, in which we see the 2-door short-wheelbase (SWB) model out on a test loop. What can we tell from the camoflouged test mule? Well, it looks…exactly like you’d expect. Take the Defender’s choppy, angular styling and affix Land Rover’s current design to the proportions and voila: 2020 Defender. It does look like it makes for a fun, almost comically video-game-esque version of what we know the Defender’s ingredients make it to be, but it certainly looks low on ground clearance and high on street-friendly tires. Those things concern me, but they can be worked around given how well the brand’s offerings do on the trail. it doesn’t eliminate the worries of if the 2020 Defender will do it’s predecessor justice, though.
Usually I pass off spy photos as insignificant and uninteresting, but being that the Defender has such a storied past and is worshiped by so many, this is one to keep an eye on. Will it have a removable roof? Will its off-road chops live up to those on which it made its name? Will the LR design language translate well onto the old-school layout? Hopefully it’s not too long before we find out.