Despite receiving some updates for 2013, which consist mainly of two new colors, new seats and an audio system, the Defender’s replacement is long overdue.
Land Rover, of course, knows this very well; as a matter of fact, it hopes that the next Defender will do for the brand, in terms of image and sales, what the Evoque has done for its Range Rover luxury sub-division: become a sales hit, bring new buyers to the brand and update its image.
The DC100 concept displayed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show hinted at the direction the new Defender might take. Even though it was very well received, it might not be the definite article, though.
Land Rover design director told British publication Autocar that, since then, various different concepts have been developed in addition to the DC100 for the new Defender that is due “in the middle of the decade”.
McGovern also revealed that the new model will be quite different compared to the original, which has spun six decades. “A like-for-like replacement for the Defender would not be appropriate and wouldn’t be legal with safety legislation”, he said. “We can still capture the essence of the past but in a modern way.”
According to McGovern, what Land Rover needs is “a new Defender for a new generation, so it has to be relevant and desirable to a modern audience”. At the same time, however, he insists that it will retain certain attributes of the legendary off-roader: “It has to have the essence of the Defender. James Bond needs to be able to kick the hell out of it and it will still be able to get up for more.”
By Andrew Tsaousis