Land Rover Completes Design Work On New Defender, Is Hell Bent On Making It Worthy To The Original

The Land Rover Defender has only been out of production for about a year and a half but fans are already clamoring for a new model.

Land Rover will soon answer them with an all-new Defender and design director Gerry McGovern has revealed the company is “hell-bent” on ensuring the SUV lives up to the original.

Speaking with Automotive News, McGovern said the design work has already been completed and the new Defender will embrace three key traits including design leadership, durability, and engineering integrity. The company even showed a teaser of the model and it reportedly depicted a vehicle with a flat roof and a squared-off front end.

That’s not much to go on but McGovern said the Defender wouldn’t have retro-inspired styling as he’s a modernist who’s “looking forward, not back.”

Since there will be a whole Defender family, we can expect a handful of different models. Nothing is official but speculation suggests there will be the familiar two- and four-door variants as well as a truck and a seven-seater.

The Defender is expected to be unveiled in 2019 and reports have suggested the model will ride on a new unibody platform and be powered by an assortment of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

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  • Chuck_Knut

    Plot twist…it’s going to look like another Evoque!

    • Six Thousand Times

      Doesn’t sound like it. The real problem will be if it has Evoque-like reliability.

  • Spongebob Squareback

    They have been working on a replacement of the Defender for SO long. (Admittedly, I’d take my sweet ass time making sure I had my ducks in a row too if I were attempting to do what they are trying to do). But, holy cow, they’ve been working on it for so long that even the teaser concept vehicles now look like concept models of the 2nd Gen Nissan Xterra, which hasn’t even been built since 2015.

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      if we consider that LR had sold Defender for few decades ,then there must be a logic they have been working on new SO long:)

  • Mark Andersen

    If LR is “hell bent on making it worthy to the original”, I sure hope it doesn’t look anything like the ones in these pics!

    • SteersUright

      Couldn’t agree more!

  • CarCzarDesigner

    My guess is that the new Defender will come to us having the current “Family resemblance”, of other current models in Land Rover’s lineup. Therefore, I expect the styling to fall somewhere between the Discovery and the Velar model. More of the “Mini-me/ Just like me” styling strategy, similar to what Fiat has done with the 500.

    Shame LR scrapped the Concept shown here and couldn’t or wouldn’t revamp the Original’s Classic design to make it doable.

    • Cupboi

      Reading between the lines, that’s the opposite of what they will do. In fact, LR aborted the concepts above because they weren’t rugged enough, and they couldn’t live up to the Defender name. My bet is that it will be considerably more rugged than the Discovery, and it will owe nothing to the Velar, and it will reference the current Defender in some small details. We’ll just have to wait and see…

      • CarCzarDesigner

        FYI, a car’s styling or in this case an SUV’s styling, has (absolutely) nothing to do with the vehicle’s ruggedness. Rather, the ruggedness comes from what is behind the skin. It is the design, engineering of the vehicle’s frame, the suspension and components, including the choice of materials & quality thereof. In some cases the frame is the styling for some utilities.

        Which is why, a Chinese knockoff from one of it’s cottage industries can produce a very rugged looking SUV that **Looks** like it could easily climb any mountain or terrain. But it can’t. Why? Because it wasn’t designed & engineered to actually take on that task. So don’t be deceived by a vehicles **looks** as to it’s capabilities.

        In the case of Land Rover, the Defender was used by NATO for various tasks & missions. Therefore, Land Rover is making sure the new Defender will meets its military requirements, without needing any special conversions.

  • Rocc E. Normyss

    Not sure who LR is trying to kid… there will only be one Defender worthy of being a…. ummmm… Defender. All these other Vehicross looking things will never measure up.

  • I just hope that farmer John will still be able to whack it with a hammer to fix things when it plays up…

  • Vyurr

    It looks like they never even moved away from that horrible DC-100 style. Did they just go on a coffee break for a couple years? It’s still an insult to the defender.

  • Matthew Raworth

    The old defender was a farmers dream car, there was nothing inside to worry about getting mucky. We all know the type of people who are going to buy the new defender, and they’re not gonna be farmers.. and I’m guessing it will be priced ridiculously high so a lot of British farmers wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. Bitch horse riders though who live in 6 bed luxury houses but still have the ‘a dog peed on my boot’ expression on their face, they probably will, as they need something ridiculously rugged to drive on that slightly muddy road where they keep their horses.

  • Classic Bob

    “The Defender is expected to… ride on a new unibody platform” ???

    Seems to me the “New Defender” might just end up being the Jeep Wrangler…

  • Blade t

    Might be fun little truck….

  • Bob

    They shouldn’t try to make it look cool. Corporates tend to suck at making anything cool when they try. They should aim to fulfill the modern equivalent of whatever the original was made for. That car is art. I have never driven a more fun car off-road (nor a worse car on-road).

  • Avid Kayaker

    That rounded profile makes this rendition of the Defender look like it’s squatting & taking a poop 💩 out if the front end. SUX