New Land Rover Defender bakkie 'technically possible' but unlikely
Whitley, England - Land Rover’s new Defender seems to have hit the right chord with many enthusiasts thanks to its combination of modern tech and off-road ability. But with bakkies becoming more popular in markets around the world, some fans are asking for a load-lugging variant.
But will Land Rover create a new double cab Defender? It would be an interesting concept, and perhaps one that might hit the sweet spot in a more premium corner of the one-tonne market, where the now-doomed Mercedes-Benz X-Class failed. But at this stage it doesn’t look like Land Rover will take the chance.
Land Rover recently told Autocar that a pick-up version of the new Defender was “technically possible” on the current platform, but that it wasn’t on the radar at the moment. This, according to the publication, is because it could be a distraction from the current models, while getting the pricing right could also prove a challenge, given that the bakkie market is somewhat different to the one where Land Rover is currently pitching its Defender.
Judging by the pricing of the new Defender SUV, which is set to start at R948 000 in South Africa, a double cab version would carry a significant price premium over the current double cabs on the market. A well-equipped Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux 4x4 DC, for instance, costs in the region of R700 000.
The new Defender is set to hit SA in June this year, offering a total of 30 derivatives - see specs and pricing here.
Initial engine options include a 2-litre turbodiesel with 177kW and 430Nm on tap as well as two turbopetrol options - a 2-litre unit with 221kW/400Nm, and a 3-litre straight-six mild hybrid that produces 294kW/430Nm.
Customers also get to choose from six model grades - Standard, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and X - and four packs - Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban.
Click here to read our driving impressions from the international launch in Namibia.