Land Rover Defender Designer Defends Redesign


Hook: The Land Rover Defender got a redesign and not everyone is happy about it. To put things into perspective, the Defender’s head designer had some things to say in an interview.

Land Rover Defender Designer Defends Redesign

The 2020 Land Rover Defender debuted fall of last year and surprised everyone with its new look. The iconic boxy and rugged look of previous Defender models is still evident, along with detractors, but the new one is more rounded and curvy. The redesign garnered mixed reactions from the crowd, more negative ones from purists, and Land Rover’s head designer talked about it in an interview with Gear Patrol.

The people can’t seem to agree on what to think of the Defender’s current design. Some say the plan is outdated, while others say it needs to look more modern or futuristic. These and many other opinions were discussed in the interview. McGovern delved in detail the design process that resulted in the controversial Defender.

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McGovern said that it all began with the choice after the LR1 concept in 2016. This decision was to build a new Defender. To answer the issue of being too “retro,” he has a unique idea of what it means to recreate previous designs.

“I think retrospectivism is the kiss of death, quite frankly,” McGovern begins. “It’s a slippery slope. It actually conveys that you haven’t got any new ideas of the future, because you’re looking back too much. Now, that’s not to say you don’t recognize your roots, because I think authenticity — particularly in a premium brand — is important. But you don’t let that manifest itself in the product to the point that the product looks like a facsimile of something that was created 60-odd years ago. For me, that’s not honest design,” he then adds.

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The concept for the new design came from the idea of McGovern. It still has that recognized boxy structure to cater to Land Rover’s roots. On the other hand, it also has rounded edges to answer modernity and development. According to McGovern, the new Defender is not the same as the old models; neither is it an evolution of. Instead, it is a unique and different model, only inspired by its predecessors but is its own model.

The new unibody-designed Defender is nothing like its ancestors. For the first time, it rides on independent suspension. This new feature also made some people upset, saying it compromised its off-roading abilities. To reassure the people that it still has power, the chief engineer released a video showing the vehicle on rough terrain.

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The 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 model can seat five people and have a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (P300) connected to an eight-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The P300 can give off 296 horsepower at 5500 rpm. Additionally, it will have intelligent emergency braking, a blindspot monitor, and a surround-view camera. As for technology, there will be a 10-inch touchscreen on the dashboard, as well as physical dials and buttons in the infotainment system. 

The two-door 90 model will start at $65,100, while the four-door 110 model would be $68,650. Sale of the 2020 Land Rover Defender will begin later this year.


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