The new Land Rover Defender has made its public world debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
A lightly camouflaged short-wheelbase version of the soon-to-be-released 4×4 was driven up the famous hill climb route by the Duke of Richmond to mark the opening of the event.
Preview images of the successor to the world-famous original Land Rover have been released in recent months but its appearance at Goodwood marks the Defender’s first official public appearance.
The prototype model will be making runs up the famous Hill every day during the 2019 festival, with Land Rover chief engineer Mike Cross at the wheel.
The Duke of Richmond said: “Few vehicles in the world can claim to be an icon, but that’s the only way to describe the Land Rover Defender. It’s extremely close to my heart and a vehicle that I’ve had a close connection with over the decades, so to be able to open this year’s Festival of Speed by driving it up the Hill was a real privilege.”
Mike Cross added: “The new Defender will redefine breadth of capability for the 21st Century, combining unrivalled off-road ability with assured and engaging on-road dynamics. I am really excited to be putting it to the test on the Hill.”
The Defender is currently undergoing final testing in various parts of the world before its official launch later this year and going on sale early in 2020.
Specifications for the all-new model were leaked online recently, revealing that there will be three versions named to echo its predecessor’s wheelbase length. The 2020 model year will launch with a “definitive” 110 version at 4.78m long with five, six or seven seats, and a 4.3m 90 “halo”model with five or six seats. 2022 will see the arrival of a 130 “premium explorer” with eight seats an overall length of 5.1m.
According to the leaked information, the Defender will be offered with three petrol and three diesel engines, including a hybrid. Petrols will include 296bhp P300 and 295bhp P400 along with a P400e hybrid. Diesels will start with a four-cylinder in 197bhp D200 and 237bhp D240 tunes as well as a six-cylinder 296bhp D300.
Standard equipment will apparently include 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, a 10-inch infotainment system and a 140W stereo system. Higher grade models will get larger wheels, electrically adjustable seats, digital instruments and matrix adaptive lighting along with better stereos and leather upholstery.
Four accessory packs will also be offered, tailoring the Defender to different buyer demands. They are expected to be called “Explorer,” “Adventure,” “Urban” and “Country.”
Pricing is still a closely guarded secret, although Autocar claims sources close to JLR have hinted at a starting price of around £40,000.