Land Rover Defender 90 prototype spotted

The Land Rover Defender might be starting to become a relatively common sight around Coventry and Warwickshire but you’ll be lucky to spot one particular version.

While Defenders are now being delivered to customers, it’s only the larger 110 model.

Production of the smaller three-door Defender 90 has been delayed, due to the coronavirus crisis, so you’ll be lucky to spot one.

The only 90s running around at the moment are likely to be prototypes used in the Defender development process.

One was spotted by a keen-eyed CoventryLive reader recently parked up on the Birmingham/Solihull border.

It was seen in the Marks and Spencer car park at the store in Coventry Road, Sheldon.



A Land Rover Defender 90 prototype. Image: Stuart Davison

It’s also a high-spec version of the new Defender, looking like one of the range-topping X versions and fitted with the 3.0-litre straight 6 turbo electric supercharged engine.

According to the DVLA it was registered in April and has a 3.0-litre petrol engine.

For many enthusiasts the Defender 90 will be the model that best captures the spirit of the original Defender, production of which ended at the Land Rover factory in Solihull in January 2016 after being in production for almost 70 years.

The new Defender is being produced at Jaguar Land Rover’s factory in Slovakia rather than Solihull.

The new Defender was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in September 2019.

The focus was on the larger 110 model, though Land Rover did produce a Hardtop commercial 90 model for the event.

It was a special nod to the Defender’s history as it was emblazoned with ‘Wilks Brothers’ signage on the side.

The precursor to the Defender, the original Land Rover, was the brainchild of Maurice Wilks, Rover’s chief engineer.

He famously sketched his original design in the sand on an Anglesey beach for his brother Spencer, who was managing director of the Rover Company.

Land Rover has a website which allows customers to configure and buy a Defender but the site says that production and delivery of Defender 90 models has been put back.

It says that the 90 should be available to order from September.

The website says: “Due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic to our production plants globally, Defender 90 production has been delayed. We anticipate Defender 90 will be available to order from early September 2020. Current prices are indicative only. Defender 110 is available to order and collect safely now.”

The Defender 90 is likely to cost from £40,290.

The Defender 110 costs from £45,560.