The Land Rover family it seems, will be growing to include two more models in its line-up and is said to be inspired by the new Defender. One is believed to be a budget offering while the other is a luxury vehicle.
According to a report by Autocar, the entry-level offering by the British brand is slated to arrive some time in 2021. Codenamed the L860, it looks to draw design inspiration from the new Defender with a possible starting price of £25,00 (AU$48,130).
The L860 is expected to use a new platform which Land Rover refers to as D10, or Omega-Arc (for Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture) by parent company Tata. This platform is said to be a modernised, cost-effective version of the D8 which is used in the construction of the L538 Range Rover Evoque and L550 Land Rover Discovery Sport.
That said, the L860 with its low starting price is meant to sway buyers away from mainstream compact SUVs such as the Jeep Compass, Mini Countryman and Volkswagen Tiguan and into a Land Rover. Furthermore, according to a report, demand for mid-sized SUVs in Europe is growing steadily with a currently annual market of over 500,000 units.
Apart from costs and luring new customers to the brand, Land Rover also needs to get their average EU CO2 numbers down given that they sell a significant amount of large and heavy cars like the Discovery and Range Rover. The firm needs to hit an average of 130g/km of CO2 by 2021 to meet EU environmental regulations.
The L860 is said to employ the upcoming 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ingenium engine in both turbocharged and mild-hybrid forms and most likely as front-wheel drive. More powerful engines and all-wheel drive are a possibility but might pose a sales risk to other Land Rover products such as the Discovery Sport.
Meanwhile, according to the same report by Autocar, the British marque might also be rolling out a luxury Defender-inspired model that’s expected to feature all-electric powertrains and even be a rival for the new Aston Martin DBX and the entry-level Bentley Bentayga.
The pure-electric powertrains will also go a long way in helping Land Rover reduce their fleet CO2 emissions in time for tougher 2025 EU regulations and looks to appeal to an eco-friendly, well-heeled set of car buyers.
As mentioned, the budget-friendly Defender spin-off is rumoured to be revealed some time in 2021 with the luxury range-topper in 2024. Watch this space for more updates.