Land Rover Defender is synonymous with off-roading capability. The last old school defender model was made about two and a half years ago. The latest model of the Land Rover Defender has been sighted many times in the past few months. Like its predecessor, the new defender is going to give rise to a diverse number of derivatives: from off roaders, to powerful and luxurious versions. It will come in short and long-wheelbase configurations and there are also rumors of a pick-up track with a single cabin version.

Debilitating Tests

new land rover defender lands in Kenya

A near production prototype was spotted in Kenya going through some serious hurdles. Land Rover in collaboration with British non-profit organization Tusk Trust, used the SUV across the 14,000 hectare Borana Conservancy to support conservation efforts.

The vehicle was put through a myriad of challenges: from tracking radio-collared lions to transporting supplies and tackling difficult terrains while pulling heavy loaded trailers. Engineers modified the test vehicle to accommodate a built-in raised air intake.

The aforementioned Borana Conservancy has everything from muddy riverbanks to thick forests, but these were non-issues for the defender which was able to climb steep rocky inclines and go through deeply rutted tracks. In short, no one can question its off-roading capabilities.

The rugged 4×4 was also spotted testing in North America where it was subjected to rigorous testing extremes. This includes temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 48 degrees as well as heights of up to 13,000 feet.


 A prototype has been spotted displaying a rear mounted wheel. It’s not clear if the feature will make production, but it’s likely given the vehicle’s off-road focus. The prototype was camouflaged and do it was difficult to get a full impression of its design, but according to one website the car will have a round headlamp with small indicator bulbs to the side and will have upright windscreens and flat side windows. It will have a completely flat bonnet with a slim grille below. Familiar Land Rover vents are visible behind the front wheel arches. The latest design appears to be more modern that the predecessor.


Prototypes are increasingly being seen on public roads, tracks and in extreme weather environments. The new Defender is soon going to be a common sight on the roads. According to Land Rover the new machines will offer “the biggest breadth of capability of any model to wear the badge”. Prices will range from over $57,000 to $88,000.

Engines and Performance

According to the 2.0 litre four cylinder petrol and diesel engines commonly used throughout the Jaguar Land Rover will be available on the new Defender. New 3.0 litre six-cylinder engines will be available for more powerful versions.   

Celebrating Land Rover Defender

Jaguar Land Rover marketing Chief Felix Bräutigam says, “Our brand is about passion, and it is icons that drive that passion. The truth is the world doesn’t need another premium brand doing what all the others do. These icons are what separate us; at Land Rover, we are rooted in our heritage and that’s what makes us different. If we had wanted to recreate the existing car then we could have moved quicker, but it is our view that for an icon to remain an icon it cannot only look backwards, but must move forwards too,” he said.

“The new Defender will move the game on again, and having the benefit for some perspective in order to achieve that should be to our advantage. The one thing I can promise you is that the new Defender will do all that our customers expect of it, without being a copycat of what has gone before. It is a car for the modern world, and that means that it must move the game on if it is to be relevant.”

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