Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Director of Design, has offered fans of the marque a little morsel of information about the upcoming revamp of the Defender model line. McGovern, in a statement to Automotive News, says that “People will know it's a Defender, it's a modern Defender. But it will bear no resemblance [to the concepts Land Rover has shown in recent years].”
The new Defender is expected to be revealed in 2018, in time to go on sale as a 2019 model year vehicle. It will sit, as it does now in most of the world, in the middle of Land Rover’s model line up, with the upscale, luxurious Range Rovers occupying the top tier while the more practical, affordable, “everyman” model Discovery fills the entry level slot.
The new Defender will still be the go-to model for off road ruggedness and utilitarian function, but it will also need to sell considerably more than the current version in order to justify the production and development costs. "A lot of people love the idea of (the previous Defender), but they never buy one," says McGovern. "While I'm a designer, and I love designing, I'm also a businessman. We need to build a critical mass in order to sustain ourselves in the long term and reinvest."
He says that means Land Rover will seek to sell 100,000 Defenders a year instead of the current 10,000.
The new Defender line reportedly will include five models that echo the current generation: two two-door models; a longer-wheelbase four-door, and two- and four-door pickup variants. The pickup variants are not expected to be available in the USA.
The design itself is still a closely guarded secret. Perhaps we will start to some spy photos showing up this year. Until then, at least we know what it won’t look like!
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