Land Rover is planning to reinvent the Defender for 2019
It has been nearly two years since the last Land Rover Defender was produced, leading to worldwide mourning for the loss of the off-roading icon. But with the 70th anniversary of Land Rover coming around in 2019, plans for a redevelopment of the Defender will coincide with the celebrations.
Talking to Autocar, Land Rover has revealed that a new design will be shown late next year to crown the 70th anniversary festivities. Codenamed 'L663', the new Defender will skip a concept reveal, jumping straight to production model status for the event.
Pictured is the DC100 concept that was trialled by the firm in 2011, much to the anger of Defender enthusiasts. The backlash to the possible venture was so abrupt that Land Rover scrapped the design altogether, shifting priority instead to the fresh 2019 effort.
Another reason that the rejuvenated Defender has taken a while to get going has been the fact that it needs to form a financially viable endeavour for Land Rover. The company now estimates that 100,000 vehicle sales each year will be needed to keep the Defender afloat, a vast increase over the 20,000 annual sales that the model peaked at in its later years.
The cars will still feature the same 90-inch and 110-inch dimensions as before and will use JLR's aluminium chassis to bring the vehicles into the 21st Century. With both hard-top and soft-top body styles as options for this future Defender (as well as potentially a pick-up model), Land Rover will be looking to turn its new design into a much more commercially versatile beast.
In fact, the company has stated that it wants the Defender to form one of the three pillars of the business (alongside the Range Rover and Discovery), rather than just being tacked onto the production line.
Are you looking forward to the possibilities for this new Defender? Do you wish is resembled the DC100 concept or are you thankful that it is going down a different route? Comment with your thoughts below!