Land Rover Defender Lands in 2018, Borrows Discovery Platform

land rover defender lands in 2018 borrows discovery platform

The regulator-friendly replacement for the recently departed Land Rover Defender is on the way, and has already begun on-road testing, the automaker’s CEO confirms.

Speaking to Britain’s Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth says the new Defender adopts the lightweight aluminum architecture of the fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery.

The platform and design upgrade is good news for those hoping to see the model return to North America.

Speth told Autocar that the new Defender looks “fantastic,” and will be “fairly different” than other models in the Land Rover stable when it appears in 2018.

The previous model, which traced its lineage back to the original Land Rover of 1948, was put out to pasture in January of this year. Passenger safety regulations pushed Defenders out the North American market in 1998, and European pedestrian safety regulations did the same for the overseas model. While owners loved the archaic, boxy body, which oozed utilitarian brawn, the march of time rendered it obsolete in the eyes of regulators.

Speth admits that the previous Defender is a hard act to follow, and that his company must get it right. And new Defender must have world-class off-roading capability and durability, he said. It also needs to look the part.

“There is no question of the new Defender just being an icon,” said Speth. “We are working on an authentic successor to the old Defender. The architecture will contain a lot of elements that are different (from other Land Rovers).”

A design concept, the DC100 (seen above), appeared in 2011 as a suggestion of what the new Defender could look like.

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Oct 01, 2016

    As much as I liked 110 and 130s I do think this will sell initially sell in greater numbers. Over the longer term this spells the end of the Defender.

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Oct 03, 2016

    The two strikes; US Safety regs and Euro pedestrian safety which condemned the Defender must surely limit what it's replacement will look and perform like. The Land Cruiser has taken the Defenders lunch money and given it a wedgy on the way out. Quite what market segment LR will try and sell into is somewhat murky, if it's too soft, off-roaders will scorn it, it it's too complex it's ticket price will be undercut by Jeep.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
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