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Land Rover Defender line-up could expand to include new Range Rover based flagship

Published Sep 13, 2021


LONDON - The Land Rover Defender looks poised to become something of a sub-brand like Range Rover, and this would see the line-up expanding to include a more luxurious variant as well as a bakkie, Autocar reports.

Although Jaguar Land Rover has not released any official information about the plan as yet, Autocar understands that a new flagship is on the horizon for around 2025 and it will be built around the new MLA architecture that’s also set to underpin the next-generation Range Rover that’s due later this year.

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MLA is a flexible platform that will be able to accommodate both internal combustion and fully-electric powertrains. It is believed that the recently introduced straight-six petrol and diesel Ingenium engines will be the mainstay of the range, Autocar says, although an electric flagship to rival the Mercedes EQG would also seem somewhat inevitable, given the market’s rapid shift towards EVs. The new Range Rover based flagship is set to be more luxurious than the current Defender, while also featuring a more premium-looking cabin.

But long before it hits the streets, Land Rover will be launching a longer ‘130’ version of the current Defender. Prototypes of the new stretched model have already been spotted on the streets, ahead of its 2022 reveal, and the model is expected to be around 340mm longer than the current 110 model, Motor1 reports, making it 100mm longer than the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300.

At the other end of the scale, plans for a ‘baby’ Land Rover Discovery model, which has been rumoured for years now, appear to have been shelved, Autocar said. This smaller and cheaper Defender model would have shared its electric-biased EMA platform with the next-generation Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport, which are expected to move upmarket.

A bakkie version of the Land Rover Defender is also said to be on the cards, but no further details are available at present.

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