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2020 Land Rover Defender explored: under the skin of a new off-road icon

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Reinventing the Defender, a car that accounts for Land Rover’s name and heritage, has been a tortuous exercise – one so long that it outlasted the original version of the vehicle, which ceased production in 2016. But Land Rover is hoping that a mix of improved off-road ability and considerable gains in everyday usability, refinement and packaging will help to widen the Defender’s appeal.

The new model – which forms the third ‘family’ in the Land Rover line-up, alongside Range Rover and Discovery – is based on a fresh aluminium-intensive platform called D7x. The chassis is described by Land Rover as 95 per cent new, and the firm claims its monocoque construction is the stiffest body structure it has ever produced – up to three times stiffer than body-on-frame designs.

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