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Land Rover Defender bakkie: it could actually happen

Published Feb 17, 2021


COVENTRY - The Land Rover Defender has been reincarnated to great acclaim, with many of the brand’s fans admiring the way it marries modern refinement with traditional off-road capabilities.

But so far there has been no word on whether a bakkie version is on the way to join the current 90 and 110 SUV models and although the company has said in the past that such a configuration is “technically possible”, Land Rover’s executive director recently provided a few additional hints that a Defender pick-up might be on the cards.

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According to Autocar, Nick Collins recently admitted that customer demand is sufficient to justify the development of such a vehicle. He also added that there were “no structural limitations” that might prevent such a project.

If it did get the green light, the Defender would be one of the few unibody pick-ups on the market as more traditional rivals like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger still make use of body-on-frame construction. While that won’t change for the foreseeable future, there are a number of new unibody pick-ups on the way - such as Ford’s Maverick and Hyundai’s Santa Cruz. They will, however, be competing at a much lower end of the market than the Land Rover, which would theoretically have an upmarket niche all to itself.

Collins would not elaborate any further on potential pick-up plans, although he did drop another hint, stating that “We always said the Defender would be a family” and that we should “watch this space”, Autocar reported.

If it did see the light of day the load-hauling Defender would no doubt be the most expensive bakkie on the South African market, given that even the cheapest Defender SUV models have already breached the million rand mark.

Expect a familiar range of engines, including the 177kW 2-litre and 221kW 3-litre V6 turbodiesels seen in the current 90 and 110 SUV models.

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