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2020 Land Rover Defender Pickup Truck “Technically Possible” But Won’t Happen

The Series and earlier Defender models are body-on-frame utility vehicles, no-nonsense 4x4s made for overlanding and pretty much no regard for creature comforts and luxuries. This time around, however, the Defender is a unibody with air suspension and all the gizmos that Jaguar Land Rover can through at it.
2020 Land Rover Defender Pickup Truck rendering by X-Tomi Design 87 photos
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There’s no mistaking the Defender is a different animal altogether from its predecessor, representing a new beginning for Land Rover and the Defender alike. Because it’s a unibody, a truck bed is pretty much out of the question given that a ladder frame is better for payload and towing than unitary construction.

On the other hand, Autocar understands from Land Rover that a pickup is “technically possible.” Technically possible as in BMW M3 Pickup it may be, but from a commercial standpoint, it is only wishful thinking.

Ford, Volkswagen, and Hyundai are three automakers that are currently developing unibody trucks with compact proportions, blurring the line between crossover and a pickup. The Tarok, for example, is good for 1,030 kilograms (2,271 pounds) according to Volkswagen’s preliminary specifications. That’s more than the Ford Ranger’s maximum payload rating of 1,860 pounds (844 kilograms).

On that note, there’s also the problem of pricing. If the Defender 110 starts at $50,925 including destination charge, can you imagine the retail price of a pickup truck with similar underpinnings? Autocar ends its report by mentioning “a distraction from the new Defender’s market,” an inspired choice of words that embodies Land Rover’s reticence about the pickup.

Codenamed L663, the all-new Defender for the 2020 model year is based on the latest evolution of the D7 vehicle architecture from eight years ago. Given that the next Range Rover will transition to the MLA – short for Modular Longitudinal Architecture – the L663 Defender is pretty old under the skin too.

If you had the money and you were in the market for an off-road SUV, would you take the Land Rover over something like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or Lexus GX 460?

 
 
 
 
 

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