With Land Rover’s iconic Defender having driven into the sunset last year, interest is mounting in the new-generation version that Land Rover has been promising us for ages now.
Now Automotive News is reporting that its replacement is likely to debut in 2019, and it’ll be a true global model, sold in all markets.
Land Rover showed a concept version of a potential successor as far back as 2011. Dubbed the DC100 (and pictured above), the concept presented an arguably uneasy mix of soft modern lines and traditional Defender styling cues, and it hardly received universal praise.
Land Rover has almost certainly gone back to the drawing board since then, and the company’s design boss Gerry McGovern has reportedly said that the finished product will not look retro, yet it will still be “instantly recognisable” as a Defender.
Yet the most controversial aspect could be the actual underpinnings.
The Defender was praised for its rugged body-on-frame architecture, but numerous reports are citing that the new Defender will share the Range Rover’s unibody architecture, which will help keep weight down and improve efficiency.
The big question for fans of the nameplate will be just how capable it is in the bush. We know that Land Rover’s modern Terrain Response technology is really effective off the beaten track, but will that be enough for Defender die-hards? Unlikely in our book... Or is Land Rover instead going after modern ‘lifestyle’ buyers?
A lot is at stake reputation-wise.
Finally, Automotive News also reports that the newcomer will be offered with a wide range of body styles, including a two-door soft top.