It's not a long drive, but there's just enough time to get Hammond excited about the Defender.
Richard Hammond is a big Land Rover fan, including previously owning a 1985 Range Rover and a heavily modified Defender 110, and he now takes a look at the new Defender on video. It's a brief experience with the new model, but the Hamster seems cautiously optimistic about what he sees.
Gallery: Land Rover Defender 2020MY
Land Rover's goal for the new Defender is to be "respectful of the past but not harnessed by it," according to Hammond. This is a great way to describe the new model's appearance. There's a definite family resemblance, but the latest vehicle looks thoroughly modern.
The goal also applies to the 2020 Defender's driving manners. Rather than the old body-on-frame chassis, the new one has a monocoque that is significantly stiffer. In the United States, the new Defender 110 comes standard with an air suspension providing an adaptive ride height that can change depending on the conditions. There are 85 ECUs, which contributes to the model's internal nickname of the "all-terrain supercomputer."
Like Motor1.com's Brandon Turkus, Hammond is a big fan of the Defender's front bench seat that lets the center console tilt upward to create room for three people. As an especially cool touch, the rearview mirror switches to the camera view when the center seat is in place.
Without extensive seat time, Hammond doesn't go so far as to render a verdict on the new Defender. It's clear that the vehicle gets him excited, though.
The Defender goes on sale in the United States in 2020 for a base price of $50,925 for the four-door 110 variant. There are a huge array of available options that can take the cost above $100,000 if you really start ticking the boxes. The two-door, possibly less expensive, two-door 90 should come fairly soon afterward, but pricing isn't available yet.