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The prestigious World Car Awards recognise and reward automotive excellence on a global scale, and we are excited to announce that Land Rover’s New Defender has been awarded the World Car Design of the Year for 2021. A modern interpretation of the original Defender, the vehicle’s strong, sophisticated design impressed the panel of international jurors.

The original Defender defined all-terrain capability and toughness in 4x4s from its conception, and the New Defender takes the characteristics that made it so beloved and reimagines them for the 21st century in a visually compelling vehicle. Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Office for Land Rover, describes the New Defender as respectful of its past but not harnessed by it. It is, he says, a Defender for a new age.


From the front, the Defender is tough but approachable, with the geometric forms of its highly technical headlamps, beautifully sculptured fenders, squared wheel arches and strong shoulders. At the rear, the geometric forms of the distinctive high-tech lamps harmonise perfectly with the front-end design. The vehicle’s high sills, short overhangs and externally mounted rear wheel facilitate its all-conquering off-road capability. There is a choice of 12 wheel designs, ranging from 18-inch white-painted pressed steel rims to 22-inch Luna alloys. Every detail of the exterior design has been developed to re-enforce Defender’s DNA, which is refined, durable and extremely tough, in a vehicle design like no other.


Inside, the Defender’s constructivist modular interior architecture communicates its highly functional nature, and the design is underpinned by its practical layout. The main controls, including the central touchscreen, are ergonomically clustered within the console’s magnesium frame. Comfort is also a key part of New Defender, with interior materials focused on retained newness, so after thousands of miles of adventure the car continues to look and feel fresh.

These are just some of the elements of the New Defender’s pared back design philosophy that captivated the judges of the World Car Design of the Year. The New Defender is reassuringly purposeful, with a clean, elemental design, which makes it both highly desirable and seriously capable.

Learn more about the many carefully considered design details that make the New Defender such a highly praised and awarded update of the legendary original.