CES 2020

2020 Land Rover Defender has world's first dual-modem, dual eSIM design

The two modems will allow users to simultaneously use the navigaton system while updating their system over the air.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The 2020 Land Rover Defender will include the world's first dual-modem, dual eSIM design, which will allow owners to simultaneously download system updates over the air while streaming music or using apps. Most vehicle systems currently disable streaming functionality while the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates are happening, often disabling functionality for an extended period of time.

Land Rover's new Pivi Pro infotainment system shares electronic hardware with the latest smartphones. Using its two embedded LTE modems, the Defender can update 16 modules remotely using cloud-based technology from CloudCar in the background without effecting day-to-day connectivity for the user.

Pivi Pro infotainment system Land Rover Defender 2020 Over 45 modules will be SOTA capable in the new Defender by the end of 2021.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"With one LTE modem and eSIM dedicated to the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology and the same set-up looking after music streaming and apps, New Defender has the digital capacity to keep customers connected, updated and entertained at all times anywhere in the world," said Peter Virk, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, Jaguar Land Rover. "You could liken the design to a brain, with each half enjoying its own connection for unrivalled and uninterrupted service. Like the brain, one side of the system looks after logical functions, like SOTA, while the other takes care of more creative tasks."

The SUV's infotainment system is equipped with its own battery allowing it to be "always on" and able to respond immediately upon vehicle startup. This functionality allows the navigation system to be ready to accept a new destination immediately upon the driver entering the vehicle. Because of the dual-modem set-up, even the navigation system can be accessed during updates.

The Defender's 10-inch high-resolution infotainment touchscreen can also connect to two mobile devices at once via Bluetooth.

Land Rover initially announced that the Defender would have 14 modules that were SOTA capable. This new announcement of 16 is another step toward the more than 45 the company projects will be available by the end of 2021, eliminating the need for customers to visit their dealership to receive any software updates.

The Land Rover Defender stars alongside Daniel Craig in Bond 25.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Most people are guilty of fast forwarding through commercials on their DVR to get to the good stuff. James Bond doesn't have time to waste, and neither do you. A new Land Rover ad for the 2020 Defender will give you good reason to watch again and again - unless you don't care for heart thumping, blood pumping off-roading chase scenes.

Set up as a peek behind the scenes at the 25th James Bond film "No Time to Die", the spot takes audiences through an audacious test run of the Bond scenes, complete with mud, much, hills, motorcycles, and a rollover. It's at least as thrilling as it sounds.

2020 Land ROver Defender stunt No Time to Die James Bond 25 The new spot features a myriad of stunts that will get viewers' hearts thumping.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"We developed a new test standard for Defender, the most challenging we've ever had and unique to this vehicle," said Nick Collins, Land Rover Defender vehicle line director "Physical strength and durability is measured by a number of different tests including a bridge jump test which gave us confidence to deliver what the stunt team needed to create for "No Time To Die", with no modifications to the body structure except the installation of a roll cage."

Defender's off-road prowess should be of no surprise to off-roading enthusiasts. Land Rover is known for their competent powertrains and go-anywhere capability. The new Defender was tested by Red Cross all-terrain experts during development to ensure its readiness for all types of terrain.

Land Rover recently allowed brand and Bond enthusiasts a peek behind the scenes of Bond 25 when they debuted still imagery of their models in the film and highlighted the work of stunt coordinator Lee Morrison and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins.

Jessica Hawkins Land Rover Defender No Time to Die James Bond Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'. Photo courtesy of Land Rover

In the movie, the Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Ten Defenders were used in the making of "No Time To Die" including the seventh Defender built VIN 007.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

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"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

Learn more about the Defender's development and design here.

The Land Rover Defender returns to the automaker's lineup for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover has made no secret of the fact that they're on a journey of transformation. Since its break with Ford Motor Company, the British automaker has been trying to find itself, break through to a larger audience, and expand its lineup. Add in a heaping helping of modern technology and equipment and you get a sense of why now is the right time to bring back the Defender.

The production of the model that is now known as the Defender started in the 1980s under the name Land Rover 110. It was squared off, rugged, and purpose-built with no superficial exterior flourishes. As the model moved into production, it received coil springs, a permanent four-wheel drive system, fresh interior, one-piece windshield, and new engine lineup. In 1983, the Defender was officially born.

Land Rover Defender Chepstow Racecourse Horse shoes and motifs adorn a vintage Land Rover Defender during the 2016 Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse. Photo by Getty Images

Land Rover stopped selling the Defender in the U.S. in 1997 due to safety regulations.

The return of the Land Rover Defender had long been rumored. By 2010, the automaker had confirmed a new model was in the works. The redesigned 2020 Land Rover Defender debuted on September 10, 2019 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The look of the Defender is true to the original while taking into account modern safety regulations and aerodynamic qualities, and adding in the latest off-roading equipment, and fresh infotainment technology. The vehicle's frame is made of aluminum while steel and magnesium play an important roll in other parts of the SUV.

Land Rover Defender 2020 design stage The Land Rover Defender design process was about serving the customer's needs and meeting their expectations.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The 2020 Defender comes in short and regular wheelbase models (named 90 and 110, respectively).

There's an Urban package for those who want the chic look of a Defender but required black wheels and exterior accents (hello, Americans) as well as Explorer, Adventure, and Country packs that add elements consistent with rugged travel.

"We don't create commodities," said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, at an unveiling event in Los Angeles last month. "We create vehicles that people have an emotional connection with."

2020 Land Rover Defender off-roading trail The Land Rover Defender is a capable beast on- and off-road.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Part of creating that emotional connection is playing on the heritage of the model. McGovern noted that the 2020 Defender acknowledges the heritage of the Defender nameplate and moves it forward.

In addition to the sleek exterior, there are unmistakable design cues that showcase the vehicle as being ready for the future. Land Rover used a simple formula in the model's creation: visceral + behavioral + reflective = emotional design.

Land Rover Defender lifestyle camping Land Rover wanted to make the Defender the best it could be for its customers, without making them compromise.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Its presence is both commanding and robust, while still being stealthy thanks to the design of the fenders and integrated door handles. It has high sills and low overhangs.

Land Rover designers set out to create a vehicle that, like the original Defender, was fit for purpose, while at the same time having the potential to become an icon. Every generational redesign starts with a design brief. It was a, "clean, short brief," said Mark Wilson, vehicle engineering manager, Land Rover. "Just make it the best."

To get there, Land Rover focused on the buyer. The automaker sees its Defender customer as someone who fancies exploring nature, seeks utility and capability, and wants Defender to be a part of their life from mundane daily driving to heavy-duty off-roading, and everything in between.

2020 Land Rover Defender map infotainment screen The interior of the Defender features modern technology that buyers are seeking.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

To get to icon status, the 2020 Defender was, "optimized to obtain supreme off-roading capability," said McGovern. The SUV's off-roading capability was put to the test throughout the design stage in terrain like what is seen in most modern Land Rover commercials. A Red Cross emergency response team even helped out with the SUV's development.

This January, Land Rover enthusiasts will be able to put the model to the test for the first time on U.S. soil at the 4xFAR Festival. If you don't want to wait until then to get your hands on one, there's a way to get the new Defender (or at least a version of it) under your tree at Christmas.

2020 Land Rover Defender Hell's Gate Moab Utah Land Rover tested the Defender in some of the world's toughest terrain.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The 2020 Land Rover Defender starts at $49,900 and customers can place their order today with deliveries starting in 2020.