By on August 31, 2011

Often times concept vehicles portray an already-decided future direction. Other times, concepts are built to suggest one possibility in an ongoing debate about a model’s future. Land Rover has taken the latter approach with its new DC100 concept,  telling Autocar that the Frankfurt-bound concept

builds upon essential elements of the Defender’s character and allows us to open the debate and inspire people to dream about Defenders of the future. The DC100 isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.

Will the new Defender get an all-new version of its rugged, body-on-frame chassis, or will it move to a re-engineered version of the T5 platform that underpins the Discovery and Range Rover Sport? That’s all still to be decided as Landie navigates a sales and regulatory environment that makes life extremely difficult for old-school SUVs. And because the Defender has lost much of its developing-world market to more reliable Toyota 4x4s, I’d guess the next Defender will be a less-traditional interpretation of the original. While that’s all being hashed out ahead of the 2015 launch date, at least we have an attractive concept to go along with a compelling debate.



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24 Comments on “Land Rover Defends The Faith...”

  • avatar

    At first glance I thought Toyota had finally cleaned up the mess they made of the FJ.

    It’s not a bad looking vehicle, but I’m not sure it’s really a Defender anymore with the flared wheel arches. Give it slab sides with add-on fender flares. I realize it’s a concept too, but could they ditch the 30″ rims with the tires painted around the circumference and put something more appropriate on there? Then again, I guess those are the most appropriate wheels/tires in the land where the last Defender could only be had with a V8 and an automatic.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but seeing an ‘off-road’ vehicle with low profile tires like that strikes me as a bit odd (and a tad ridiculous? Or is there some new, off-road feature of low profile tires that I’m not aware of). I like the overall shape, but portraying this as an off road vehicle with wheels and tires like that just seems silly.

    • 0 avatar

      This confused me at first too, I wonder if these are supposed to represent an airless tire design like the Michelin Tweel? A dedicated off-road vehicle like the Defender would be the perfect application.

      • 0 avatar

        Tall sidewalls and lots of air volume allow you to deflate tires until they nicely “drape” around uneven surfaces, dramatically aiding traction. Something no airless postage stamp thick wonder will ever do.

        LR cars have low beltlines and nice, upright cabins. That’s about it as far as good things go. You’d think new owners, in the land of cattle tracks passed of as roads, would be well suited to develop useful off road vehicles for their burgeoning middle class, but I guess colonial age inferiority complexes and generalized Euro envy won’t allow for such pragmatism.

  • avatar

    Builds upon essential elements of the FJ’s character (by adding a Freelander nose) and allows us to open ourselves to ridicule from the people who used to dream about Defenders of the future.

    There, fixed it for ya.

  • avatar

    This looks like such a blatant FJ Cruiser knockoff that maybe Land Rover is just trying to fool the inattentive into buying one of their problems over an LC.

  • avatar

    To the old school, bearded Land Rover faithful, the only replacement worth its salt will be one that can be taken apart by bearded old school guys who are tanked up on real ale, using the few tools they keep rolling around the back of their vehicles.
    Seriously though, the appeal to my Grandfather (who owned a 1955 Series 2) and to every farmer and enthusiast is that it is an incredibly simple vehicle to work on. When the chassis eventually rusted out, he bought a new galvanized one and spent less than 2 days swapping everything over, on his own in his early 70’s.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    If there are any Land rover owners out there, can you please explain why you buy this vehicle, notorious for poor reliability, crappy customer service and low resale value when much better vehicles exists at a lower price.

    • 0 avatar

      I can understand the crappy customer service comment, but poor reliability? You must be getting the Defender mixed up with the Range Rover.
      Low resale value? Have you actually seen how much used, well kept Land Rover 90’s, 110’s and Defenders are going for? I just had a quick look at several craigslist ads from all over the US and Canada, and on ebay, and you’ll find 15+ year old examples selling for well over $20k. Even in the UK where they are far more prevalent, they still command healthy prices compared to other 4×4’s of a similar age.

    • 0 avatar

      Volt 230, because they are built by Caucasians.

  • avatar

    There’s something not quite kosher about it – or rather, a little too kosher.

  • avatar

    The answer is that Land Rover just needs to let the Defender go. There isn’t enough of a market anymore, and LR is making way more money off luxury Range Rovers anyway. Let bygones be bygones, kind of like Ford with the old BOF Explorer. Sure, they generated a lot of enthusiast whining when they went to a car-based platform, but the consumer response has been overwhelmingly positive and that’s all that really matters.

    • 0 avatar

      There is a a market for genuine old school SUVs. Jeep sells 90-110k Wranglers per year in the USDM. With enough parts commonality and a shared assembly plant you can make a decent business case for a niche product that sells 1/10 that.

      The true Shibboleth of a 4×4 is having a solid front axle. You can make a capable unitbody 4×4. The Cherokee and 93-04 Grand Cherokees (ZJ&WJ) are all unitbody and tackle serious off-road work.

  • avatar

    Looks like a toy.

    What they should do is go the other way and see what they guys at Icon are doing to old FJs and Jeeps.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Kosher? Maybe the star of David rims… Business case? 3 door, 9 pass. Wagon, pick up truck in different wheelbases. Base bare bones like an African jungle vehicle and an American beach cruiser for rich dad kid’s. Take a look at the extended family of the Wrangler. More doors more sales. That is what you do with an icon. BTW check out specs for a Diesel high MPG truck. Dream on…

  • avatar

    Are they serious about the aspect ratio on those tires? Those look like 35’s. On an off road vehicle? If that’s what it ships with, then they are clearly selling a car with a certain look more than an actual intent to perform.

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