Land Rover Trolls Planet Earth With All-New Defender Teaser, Promises to 'Unwrap' Off-Roader in 2019
Well, some boxes just can't wait to be opened—and the new Defender certainly looks boxy.
'Tis the season for well-wrapped boxes—and apparently trolling legions of off-road fans around the world, if you're Land Rover. Just this morning, the company fired off an email to the media that JLR had to know would jack up our heart rates even more than that third cup of coffee we're usually knocking back around this hour: an official spy shot of the all-new Land Rover Defender, expected to arrive in 2019 as a 2020 model year vehicle.
Well, at this point, we can probably change "expected to arriving" to "arriving," because Land Rover's low-res post leaves little room for doubt. "DO NOT UNWRAP UNTIL 2019," it reads in bold-faced type across the top of the image, just above a picture of a snugly-wrapped Defender back its way out of a car carrier trailer like an embiggened Hess truck toy. The picture itself is so cruynch, it's hard to make out much in the way of those sweet sweet Defender details, but a couple things are clear: it'll have a spare tire mounted on the back, and it'll be as square as Pat Tillman's jaw.
Interestingly enough, in contrast to the "2019" prominently displayed at the top, the picture also mentions the date of December 27th at the bottom. Considering we're more than a year from that date in 2019, it seems unlikely to be referring to 12/27 of that year (unless JLR looked at Fiat Chrysler's four-month rollout for the Dodge Demon and said, "Hold my lager"), so we at The Drive are guessing that we'll score a better look at the camouflaged new Defender on that date, with a full reveal coming in 2019.
Furthering the evidence for such a rollout: According to Autocar, a JLR spokesperson said earlier this month that the Defender would be in the hands of buyers "from 2020," with JLR head honcho Ralph Speth suggesting it could be revealed sooner than that. While no specifics have been officially released, Autocar claims the new Defender will be available in short-wheelbase Defender 90 and long-wheelbase Defender 110 forms; registration data for a prototype caught on British roads suggested said car was powered by a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, but given diesel's diminishing popularity around the world, we're betting it'll also come with JLR's Ingenium gas-powered turbo four and the company's supercharged V6 beneath its square hood.