Return of Defender Opens Door to Bargain-basement Land Rover, Report Claims

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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return of defender opens door to bargain basement land rover report claims

Maybe Land Rover isn’t so removed from its former parent, after all. Whereas Ford saw the resurrection of the Bronco nameplate as an opportunity to butch up an Escape, Land Rover apparently sees the return of the storied Defender as an excuse to push its lineup downmarket.

No, not with the Defender itself — the range-topping SUV will only go upward in price, Autocar reports, but the opportunity lies in sprinkling some of its design magic over a new entry-level model.

It’s the same thing Ford chose to do with the so-called “ Baby Bronco” due out next year. An Escape by any measure, the vehicle will don the Bronco’s design cues while adding a yet-to-be-defined level of off-road prowess. Two models for the cost of one!

At Land Rover, the idea is the same. According to Autocar, the brand hopes to release a Defender-inspired five-door model in 2021 to capitalize on the larger model’s heritage, at the same time creating a cheaper entry point into the brand. Starting price for the unnamed, unconfirmed model is pegged at the low $30k range (£25,000 for Brits).

In comparison, Land Rover’s current cheapest model, the Discovery Sport, starts at just under $39,000. A new platform sourced from parent corp Tata Motors is believed to underpin the upcoming model.

As the brand prepares to plumb for lower-end buyers, it also expects to capture more of the affluent green crowd. The Defender itself is expected to appear as a fully electric vehicle in the near future, carrying a sticker price north of £100,000. Luxed-up and free of emissions, the variant’s lofty sticker is necessary to keep the model profitable as Land Rover chases loaded European green buyers (lowering its fleetwide carbon footprint in the process).

The basic Defender returns to U.S. dealers next summer.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • Tstag Tstag on Dec 10, 2019

    Judging by the absolute trashing a recent tv program gave the Jeep Wrangler I don’t think Land Rover has too much to worry about. The Jeep was torn apart on almost everything with the verdict being buy a Toyota or a Defender. I think the latest Defender will smash it out the park. Before anyone says anything about reliability I’d suggest looking at Jeeps scores in this area.

    • See 3 previous
    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Dec 10, 2019

      @Tstag Well it is a Land Rover, a brand that's routinely near the bottom of quality and reliability lists. Land Rover's motto: "There's a sucker born every minute."

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Dec 11, 2019

    It must be an ammo box for the UN Peacekeeping forces. Or a place to put scones.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.