Land Rover Defender Enters Final Phase of Testing in Africa

New version to be built in Slovakia and goes on sale in 2020.

Did you know today is World Land Rover Day? The original Land Rover (Series 1) made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show on April 30, 1948. To celebrate Land Rover released more revealing photos of the upcoming Defender field testing in Africa.

A camouflaged prototype will complete its final phase of real-world testing at the Borana Conservancy with the Tusk Trust wildlife conservation charity in Kenya. The original model was built from 1983 to 2016 but left the U.S. market in 1997. Land Rover plans to reveal the redesigned Defender in September as a 2020 model.

From the looks of the latest prototype photos the truck's boxy shape looks a bit softer overall and not quite as dramatic as a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Like the G-Wagen it appears ready to tackle any road traveled and JLR has been busy testing its upcoming 4x4 bruiser all over the world—from the Rubicon Trail and the streets of NYC to Arjeplog, Sweden and the Nürburgring.

More than 45,000 individual tests in extreme environments have been planned for the luxurious, yet ornery off-roader before it makes its likely debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the fall.

Since testing has begun, the prototype fleet has logged over 745,000 miles to date and the marque promises "new levels of comfort and driveability" when we finally get a chance to sit behind the wheel and stomp on the accelerator.

Production for the new Defender is slated to kick off at Land Rover's new manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia where the Discovery is currently assembled.

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