Australian buyers will be forced to wait until next year for the Land Rover Defender 90 short-wheelbase, with delays also cited for the local introduction of all diesel-powered Defenders.
The British brand says the arrival of the Land Rover Defender 90 short wheelbase has been pushed back due to delays caused by COVID-19 related complications in the company's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.
Land Rover UK’s Defender online build configurator 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."
Land Rover USA’s Defender configurator has a similar message but with less detail. A September 2020 order date points towards a 2021 arrival for the Defender 90, instead of the late 2020 date originally planned by Land Rover.
Land Rover Australia told CarAdvice the Defender 90 will arrive in Australia by "early 2021", pending any further delays.
"The Defender 110 initial production was halted just two months after it started," said a spokesperson for Land Rover Australia.
"That obviously has caused a backlog of orders and with a reduced rate of production in the Nitra factory due to COVID safe work practices, they are behind schedule."
The company added that, "due to this effort on catching up on Defender 110 builds, the Defender 90 production will now start later and we expect to see our first Defender 90s in Australia early in 2021."
Land Rover Australia had previously indicated Defender 90 would arrive in P400 First Edition specification by October 2020, with the rest of the lineup to arrive early 2021.
Like the Defender 110, the Defender 90 will be available with a D200 (147kW/430Nm) and D240 (177kW/430Nm) two-litre diesel engines, and P400 three-litre petrol six cylinder, which uses a turbocharger and electric supercharger to make 294kW and 550Nm.
Land Rover Defender 90 pricing is yet to be revealed. Considering Defender 110 starts at $69,990 for the D200 in Australia, CarAdvice estimates Defender 90 to be starting somewhere near $60,000 plus on-road costs.
Meanwhile, Land Rover Australia’s local website says there will be unspecified delays on diesel-powered Defenders for our market.