For a vehicle that’s coming up soon, details on the new Land Rover Defender are surprisingly sparse. We know it will most likely feature an aluminum frame and a modern design that’s already been signed off, as well as the fact that it will be “rugged and attainable.”
A recent report by Autocar does shed some more light. Firstly, they say it’s quite unlikely that we’ll get to see it in production form before the summer of 2016, though concept previews will have debuted by then either at the Geneva, New York or Frankfurt motor shows (next year).
The source suggests its frame “looks likely to be a version of the company’s aluminium monocoque with the addition of a substantial aluminium superstructure in order to make the architecture as stiff and rugged as possible.” That’s what made the old Discovery’s chassis very strong and also made it weigh almost 2.7 tons – with aluminum, weight management will be easier.
As for the engine lineup, power will come from the Jaguar-Land Rover group’s new family of Ingenium four-pot engines, though V6 options could be added as well. Eight or nine speed automatic gearboxes will be standard, it seems, though the absence of a manual will completely alienate traditional buyers, we say.
A key point made by the UK publication is the new Defender’s ability to “thrive in the world’s harshest conditions, to the extent that it will be able to ‘plug into’ existing component networks by using the same wheel and tyres sizes as Toyota’s Land Cruiser and Hilux.”
Finally, it’s worth noting that the theme behind the upcoming model, the philosophy that has guided its creation is “premium durability.” That could either mean it’s going to go along a more posher route than before, or it could simply mean it gets premium levels of engineering, not luxury (or a combination of the two).