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Spied: Land Rover Defender 90

by Drew Johnson

Land Rover is getting ready to launch an all-new Defender.

Land Rover's next-generation Defender SUV has broken cover while undergoing cold weather testing in the Arctic Circle. The next-generation of Land Rover's iconic Defender model could launch as soon as this year.

Land Rover is still in the mule testing phase for the next Defender, with the off-roader currently wearing the shortened body work of the Range Rover Sport. Given its truncated side profile, it's believed that the mule spotted today is a precursor to the three-door Defender 90 model. A four-door version of the Defender is also believed to be in the works.

We've yet to see a prototype wearing production-intent sheet metal, so it remains unknown if Land Rover will keep the Defender's classic lines — as Mercedes-Benz did with its all-new G-Class — or go with a more modern design.

But in order to better take on the G-Class head on, Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations will get a crack at making a high-performance Defender model. The Defender SVO should take direct aim at the popular Mercedes-AMG G63. On the other end of the spectrum, Land Rover is also planning a hardcore off-road version of the Defender that will be sold under the SVX banner.

Land Rover has not announced when we'll see the new Defender in the flesh, but the rugged SUV is expected to be unveiled later this year or early in 2019.