Land Rover will reportedly revive the Defender as a group of models that will offer the wider range of capabilities in the brand’s history.
Set to be revealed next year, the all-new Defender is going to become a sub-brand of its own right, taking a seat next to the Discovery and Range Rover. The new generation of the off-road icon will be offered with two wheelbases and a number of versions that range from basic utilitarian to high-end luxurious models, Autocar reports.
The British car maker was originally planning to reveal the new Defender this year, which is Land Rover’s 70th anniversary, but the imminent launch of the new Evoque made it change its schedule.
Land Rover will market the new Defender as an upmarket off-roader, with its naming strategy directly related to its wheelbase, just like the old Defender 90 and Defender 110 models.
The new Defender will ride on the company’s new all-aluminum MLA platform, which is set to replace the family of platforms that’s been currently used. That means that the next generation off-road icon will use an aluminum monocoque chassis instead of the traditional body-on-frame, but it will still make for a great off-roader.
The engine range will include mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains that feature a four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine ,while range-topping versions will be powered by a new straight-six engine in various states of tune. Jaguar Land Rover does not plan to use any V8s in its future products.
As for the different Defender models, expect the range to include a entry-level three-door model with the short wheelbase offered both with a tin roof and a removable top, as well as a long-wheelbase five-door model that will go against premium SUVs. Land Rover is also reportedly planning a pick-up truck version of the new Defender, based on the long-wheelbase models, to compete against the likes of the Mercedes X-Class.
As for when we’re going to finally see the new Defender, the company intends to reveal its new model family next year, with sales to begin during the first quarter of 2020.