The Land Rover Defender’s look was never a primary concern, but it simple shape was never offensive, and many have grown to like it over the decades it has been in service. Now, the manufacturer is looking to replace it with an all-new and modern alternative, one that we now learn will look radically different to the classic.
Gerry McGovern, the director of Land Rover’s design department, explained:
“The current Defender has never sold on its design and has changed very little over the years. What we are working on is something that will be more desirable to look at – the traditionalists might not like it but they’ll have to live with it. It will still be as capable as before and there will be references to the old model – it might even have a spare wheel on the back.”
He was keen to emphasize that it’s paramount “to get the proportions right, give it a distinctive silhouette and wider appeal. A Defender doesn’t have to look overtly functional. We are taking a more sophisticated approach.”
Most importantly, it will be repositioned in the range and in the market as different kind of vehicle to the outgoing Defender. The aim is to start selling a lot more of them than they are doing now (100,000 units per year versus today’s figure that’s about five times lower). In McGovern’s words, it needs to be “more relevant to the modern world.”
By Andrei Nedelea
Note: 2011 DC100 concept pictured