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New Land Rover Defender – Project Icon

Sat, 26 Sep 2009

Land Rover are planning a new Defender to launch in 2012

As always, the Defender is going to be the traditional Land Rover as – unlike the rest of the Land Rover Range which is moving over to aluminium platforms – the new Defender will be based on the existing – and very capable – current model Discovery platform.

The use of the T5, twin rail steel chassis from the Discovery is vital if the Defender is to continue to offer the range of body styles currently available – including hard and soft tops – which make the Defender the versatile work horse it is. But the Defender will still be going on a diet and will be a lighter car than the current Model.

The T5 chassis is capable of supporting both and air and steel independent suspension and is the most capable of the current Land Rover underpinningss – an ideal choice for the new Defender. The current Disco is a much better ‘Go Anywhere’ setup than either the Range Rover or the Freelander and will – in the new Defender – make those abilities even more apparent. It will also make the Defender a more comfortable off-roader – no bad thing.

The new Defender will probably be built in the UK and feature a range of engines from the JLR stable. Most likely is the 2.7 litre diesel from the current Discovery, or even the new 3.0 litre. An enticing – although unlikely – possibility is a halo Defender with the 5.0 litre S/C lump from the Jaguar and Range Rover. That would make Mercedes’ G55 look over its shoulder with trepidation.

And the Defender would be an ideal candidate for production in emerging markets – especially India. Maybe as a knock-down kit built in the UK and assembled in India, but more likely as a fully manufactured product in a purpose-built factory. The perfect staging post for export to emerging markets and the least sensitive option to start JLR production overseas. Who could deny the logic of producing a car like the Defender in a part of the world where a chunk of sales are?

As we said yesterday – the future looks bright

By Cars UK