2020 Defender Spy Shots....


Expedition Leader
Expect to see a reduction in Jaguar and Land Rover models as cost saving pressures increase.

Jaguar Land Rover Turnaround Fails to Dislodge Short Bond Bets
20 December, 2018

"Short sellers are still circling bonds from Jaguar Land Rover even as the British luxury carmaker embarks on a savings plan to tackle larger-than-expected losses.

Shorts on JLR’s bonds have more than tripled since the start of the year to $283 million across the carmaker’s notes in dollars, euros and pounds, according to data from IHS Markit Ltd. The positions are holding near a record $328 million reached last month, the data show.....

.......Junk-rated JLR has already seen downgrades this year from the three largest ratings companies ..........

.......The cost of insuring JLR’s bonds against losses in the credit-default swaps market jumped to the equivalent of 744 basis points earlier this month, an all-time high, according to data from CMA. The five-year contracts are currently quoted at the equivalent of 705 basis points, indicating a 46 percent probability of default in that period, the data show. "


What is *your* point? What is a "serious" off-road vehicle, in your definition? Is it one that's "hard" to drive well? Is it one you don't *want* to drive on a long road trip to the trailhead? My D5 shames the old D1/D2/LR3/LR4 off the lot - it goes well beyond "intermediate" trails while also being a very comfortable daily driver and being easy to drive on difficult off-road trails as well. You simply refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of new technology and design born of decades of experience that Land Rover has applied - as well as the realities of maintaining road-legal certification in their largest markets, primarily from a fuel economy and emissions perspective. If they can't make it road-legal, they can't sell it, period. If I don't need to modify my truck to easily do what a modified D1/D2 can barely do, then I consider that a vast benefit - the capability is built in rather than spending tens of thousands to add it. Despite the fact that it's only entering its 3rd model year, there's already a no-cut winch available, off-road lighting, a suspension lift, underbody armor, and it easily accepts 32" M/T's without a lift...what's not to love? External accessories such as RTTs, gear carriers, etc are only a mouse click away. I've seen some shops experimenting with rock rails - but they're not done fine-tuning those yet. Another year or two and we'll see bumpers and rails that should complement the looks as well as armor it.

So tell me, do you consider the M1097A2 HMMWV a "serious off-road vehicle"? It has four-corner independent suspension for the biggest reason - to protect steering and driveline components from trail and combat damage. Is the Ford Raptor a "serious off-road vehicle"? IFS. An increasing percentage of Ultra4 racing winners, including KOH runners are fully independent F/R - almost all have IFS. A flat underbelly gives more line choices when it provides the same ground clearance everywhere, as compared to a traditional live axle vehicle that has its highest clearance between the bell and the wheel, along the axle; and IS provides greater wheel travel. Live front axles are prone to the Death Wobble - event the newest Wrangler is experiencing it, with Jeep issuing a statement in effect saying, "duh." IS is lighter, with lower unsprung weight. It's more stable, because articulation of one wheel doesn't impact the other wheel on that end. The only way you raise a live axle without portal axles is larger tires --- and to fit very large tires to raise the bellhousing and steering gear significantly, you need to lift the body, which raises the center of gravity and makes the vehicle less stable, unless you go the rock crawler route and widen the track so you can mount 44" boggers outside the fenders. You can still apply portals to an independently-sprung vehicle if you want to as well.

Sure, live axles have some benefits - stiffness being the primary as well as maintaining a constant ground clearance across the axle despite having less of it and less inherent travel in the suspension, but as technology marches on - metallurgy, structural engineering, etc - independent suspension is becoming more and more advantageous.
The D5 is not a true offroad vehicle....it's a luxury SUV that has some offroad capabilities. That's an important distinction.

The HMMWV is also not a true offroad vehicle, or rather if it is to be considered one, it comes with serious limitations. It was designed to fit in the track width of a tank and drive along main avenues of approach....it's not the best vehicle for tackling technical, 4x4 trails. Also, the level of robustness and overkill that was engineered in that vehicle far surpasses anything that Land Rover has ever produced, perhaps excluding the last iteration of the Defender.

KOH is a racing event. Racers prefer IFS, and IRS, increasingly because they're worried about speed above all else. Those suspensions cost boat loads of money and need to be rebuilt quite often, so its foolish to compare that technology to what is used in the average 4x4. For the consumer-oriented 4x4 truck, solid rear and, in some cases, front axles make more sense due to their robustness and reliability when carrying loads over rough terrain.

I really could care less if the new Defender comes with a IFS and IRS. IFS + solid rear axle seems to be a good compromise for most dedicated 4x4 vehicles, but IRS can work if its engineered properly. What I'm more concerned about is whether or not this new Defender will be able to take aftermarket modifications (bigger tires, increases suspension lift, ect.). That has been the achilles heel of the recent LR vehicles. A true offroad vehicle should be open for aftermarket modification to make it better suited to an individual's needs. Also, air suspension has no place in a true offroader, at least not with the current level of that technology.


Expedition Leader
As I suspected based on financials. The ole "We are committed, until we are not"

Tata Motors Reaffirms Its Commitment To Jaguar Land Rover

"The chairman of Tata Motors says the Indian automaker remains committed to Jaguar Land Rover despite recent reports that it was looking to sell the company. ........

......“There is no truth to the rumors that Tata Motors is looking to divest our stake in JLR or discontinue the Jaguar brand.” .......

......In a bid to restore JLR’s health, Tata Motors recently drew up two plans to help the company. The first, Project Change, will focus on cost reductions of $1.26 billion over the coming 18 months. The second, Project Accelerate, is longer-term and expected to reduce the automaker’s range of models. "

Jaguar and Land Rover models on chopping block. New Defender needed earlier. Prices too high and little incentive for a younger generation to buy a Land Rover. JLR may still be offered for sale.


Active member
Good thing there are plenty of old ones around, along with a (stronger than JLR) aftermarket support for them.

Paddler Ed

Thanks to posting those articles.
If in doubt for a story on Land Rover, I'd always head to those two sites. Normally Autocar first, and then Automotive News - Autocar because it's been around since the 1900's and is based in the UK, whilst Automotive News is American based (with Automotive News Europe covering Europe) so is quite good for the USA/Canadian market coverage.


Active member
Well, they do seem to be good but I’m still not overly excited about the current offerings from the green oval.


The Good Shepherd
I am not too against the modern technologies they are trying to bring in the new Defender.
What concerns me is the price. Something tells me that it won't be a "modern but simple" utilitarian truck. It's gonna be a high-end SUV, especially for the US market.
I remember when I first saw a Disco 3 in Germany, it was stick with no air-lifted suspensions. It was rather utilitarian and roomy. In other wards it was a different truck than ones offered here.
The LR USA may do the same marketing as well.
Well, 2020 means the release is about 8-9 months away I remember how new models go to market....could be wrong!

On that note, seeing a full-size hanging spare on the back gives promise to a large fuel tank with range for petrol, and definitely for diesel. So.....the wait continues but I have no doubt the price tag will start with a "6" in any configuration!


Active member
I believe they'll start taking orders in Summer-ish, at least according to my dealer. It's a MY 2020 vehicle, so that may mean late 2019 roll-out to the first lucky few in the UK with US deliveries starting shortly after. My dealer has had at least one regular customer with a deposit down for two years already....


My guess is "base price" will be in the 57K range - the Discovery 5 base was around $59K - but by the time you get one optioned out with all of the off road stuff we'll want it will at least be in the high $60's.
My Discovery with all of the HD options and towing package was about $71K - I imagine that the Defender similarly equipped will be a little less expensive. I'd love for it to be $10K cheaper but I don't think that will happen.


My guess is "base price" will be in the 57K range - the Discovery 5 base was around $59K - but by the time you get one optioned out with all of the off road stuff we'll want it will at least be in the high $60's.
My Discovery with all of the HD options and towing package was about $71K - I imagine that the Defender similarly equipped will be a little less expensive. I'd love for it to be $10K cheaper but I don't think that will happen.
Pretty toys for rich people. They have completely lost touch.