2020 Land Rover Defender Will Be Electrifying!

2020 Land Rover Defender Will Be Electrifying!

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This is what Dr Ralph Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive had to say late last week and we’ll tell you what makes the announcement so interesting in a sec.

“Every new JLR model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice,” Dr Speth said.

To be specific – and there are many vague and unspecific articles on this topic available to read online – Dr Speth’s statement means that all new JLR models, introduced from 2020 onwards, will only be available with some form of electric drive, be it petrol or electric hybrid or full EV. In other words, JLR won’t design and build another new vehicle that relies solely on the internal combustion engine, from 2020.

JLR vehicles introduced prior to 2020, may rely solely on the internal combustion engine, until they are replaced or significantly upgraded post 2020.

This news isn’t overly surprising, and follows a similar announcement made by Volvo, earlier this year, although Volvo plans to be 100 per cent electric drive in some shape or form across it range, by 2019.

It’s a change being driven hard by regulators. China, the world’s largest new vehicle market, has just announced that  it is researching a deadline for the banning of petrol and diesel cars.

It’s no longer being manufactured, but the last few years of Defender production saw Land Rover experimenting with a full electric drivetrain

The UK is moving towards banning the internal combustion engine from 2040 and having all internal combustion powered vehicles off the road by 2050. While it remains to be seen if this plan gets locked in, whatever happens, the continual tightening of emission requirements and the ongoing backlash against diesel powered vehicles, means that electric drive is the future, and it’s coming soon to a dealer near you.

All of which is good news, if you aren’t a technophobe. Electric drive and electric drive assistance is particularly well suited to off road applications and the type of vehicles that 4X4 enthusiasts – like us – get all excited about.

Imagine, for example, a Land Rover Defender with a 2.0 or 3.0-litre Ingenium turbo-diesel engine and an electric engine or two. Instant torque, potentially no need for low range gearing and an extended range due to increased fuel efficiency. It’ll be quiet as well, something that’s gonna be hard for some current Defender owners to get used to.

Which brings me neatly around to the all-new Land Rover Defender, that has been delayed numerous times and isn’t expected to debut until at least, you guessed it…2020. And that means it will be electrified in one way or another.

I know it exists, because I know someone that has seen it, although a fairly serious signed agreement prevents him from discussing it with me. I’m convinced the all-new Defender was all but finished in the last 18 months, but JLR has taken the drivetrain back to the drawing board.

There is after all, no point designing an all-new vehicle, one that will likely be around largely unchanged for a decade or more (the original Defender saw little in the way of change across three decades), without it featuring electric drive of some sort. Hybrid initially and eventually, as technology allows, full electric.

Mark my words, I’m right about this.

Get ready for the all-new 2020 Defender to be the most interesting, one of the most capable and without doubt, the most ahead of its time 4X4 EVER.

If you’re a dead set 4X4 enthusiast, sign-up for our FREE eMag here > The Magazine

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