And it’ll be here in the next 12-months.
When most people think of ‘Land Rover,’ there’s little doubt that without too much struggle, they will think of the Defender. The upright, boxy, all-purpose all-terrain vehicle that mobilised just about everyone, the Defender enjoyed cult status and masses of fans up until its demise in 2015, some 67-years after the original Series I rolled out of the assembly line, leaving everyone asking, where’s the next one?
It’s no secret that a new Defender is in the works, something that Land Rover has reiterated time and time again, and for the most part we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for it. Perhaps sensing that we’ve grown a little bored of waiting, Land Rover let a little snippet of info out of the bag about the Defender, and admittedly, there’s more going on than we expected.
It seems that 2018/2019 is the year of refreshing iconic cars. Jeep’s updated its ever-recognisable Wrangler, while Mercedes-Benz is on track to pull the wraps off of its new G-Class real soon too. The stage is set for the third off-road toy to join the fray, and it’ll do so in a very contemporary way.
Naturally, the new Defender will be available with an internal combustion engine, likely a range of Ingenium engines in both turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel guises. There were rumours of a mild-hybrid or a plug-in hybrid version to help appease regulators, though it appears that JLR has gone straight past that, and will be offering the Defender in a full battery-electric guise instead. This revelation was first reported by Motoring, who cite a “senior Jaguar-Land Rover source.”
JLR is making serious headway in the battery-electric space, first unveiling its plug-in hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport earlier this year, though 2018 will usher in the arrival of the Jaguar i-Pace, a full-electric crossover that has everything it needs to show Tesla who’s boss. The Defender EV will sit on a bespoke chassis though, not one shared with Jag’s electric crossover.
If you’re getting excited about the idea of an electric off-roader, it’s worth noting that the Defender EV is not expected to come to market until sometime in late 2019, so don’t go to your nearest Land Rover dealership to put down a deposit.
While we’ve used images of the Concept DC100 here, design boss Gerry McGovern has said that the new Defender will distance itself from the heavily-criticised design of the DC100, though it will remain “polarising.”