New Defender Is Coming To The USA. But Will It Be As Cool As A 1990s NAS?
Are we surprised that the next-generation Land Rover Defender will be offered for sale in both the US and Canada? No, not at all. But it’s good to have it confirmed that they’ll be on sale from 2020–and to find that development mules and prototypes are already in the States somewhere, being tested for durability. It will be the first time that new Defenders have been sold officially in North America since the now-soughtafter NAS (North American Spec) models last made in 1997. The new version is going to have to try really hard to be as cool as a NAS though…
This new Defender owes little to the old model, which itself evolved from the original 1948 Land Rover design, via the Series 1, 2, and 3. The Defender line started with the Ninety and One Ten, which differed from the Series 3 by having coil spring suspension rather than leaf springs, and the design changed little right through until the last Defender rolled off the production line on 29 January 2016. Land Rover is pointing out that the new Defender shares its predecessor’s “rugged squared-off exterior, round headlights and signature rear-mounted spare tire” but there’s nothing else in common other than the obvious go-anywhere ability.
“There are a handful of automobiles that are beloved around the world and stand for a brand, a country and a distinct way of life. The Land Rover Defender is such a singular vehicle,” Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, tell us. “The all new Defender will be for sale here starting in 2020. This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hint of what’s to come in the New Year.”
Images courtesy of Land Rover North America