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New Defender Release Date and More

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Posted On: Jan 4, 2018 By: Dave Bobeck Category: Land Rover News

The iconic Series Land Rover and its younger Defender offspring are known for their nearly un-matched off-road ability, ease of service, and most of all, their propensity to leak constantly, unaffected by the careful efforts of their hapless owners.

It is only appropriate then that news out of Solihull regarding the new Defender comes to us in the same way - trickling out so slowly that it goes unnoticed. Then one day, suddenly there is a puddle on the ground of sufficient size to be worth doing something about.

Which brings us to today's blog. I think the last time we left off on the topic, we knew the Defender would not retain any retro-looking style based on the old models, that it would have an electric option, and be out in 2019.


The first EV Defender

The latest reports I've seen, now a week or two past, report a few more details. Perhaps these aren't news to every anorak out there, but I've not been following the press so much these last few weeks.

The biggest development that I'm aware of, besides the purported spy photos we posted last time around, is that the new Defender is scheduled to launch as part of Land Rover's 70th-anniversary celebrations. The first Series One was unveiled in April of 1948, though I will be pleasantly surprised if we see anything that early in the year. After the launch, expect to see models available for sale in 2019.

As for the electric bit, we are talking about a full-electric vehicle - a pure EV, not a hybrid. Though, it isn't clear whether a hybrid model would also be in offing. In any event, this goes hand in hand with parent company Jaguar Land Rover's stated goals of having electric options across the board by 2020 and also with taking JLR and the UK as a whole to the top ranks of the hybrid and electric vehicle market, and in the process growing the company and creating thousands of jobs.

This follows on with the introduction of the Range Rover Sport Plug-In Hybrid late in 2017 and the much-touted pure-electric Jaguar I-Pace, anticipated to hit dealer lots sometime in 2018. It stands to reason then that the new EV Defender would likely share some powertrain technology with its Jaguar relative.

The 2019 Defender, is currently codenamed L663 and will share the same aluminum architecture which used on other models, and will be available in long and short wheelbase versions with a choice of either a hard-top or soft-top body style.

Land Rover creative director Gerry McGovern has spoken publically on the record about the British SUV brand’s all-new replacement for the iconic Defender for the first time.

Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said that the all-new Defender will be built to meet the needs and expectations of future buyers. Like its stable-mates, it will incorporate new technology in order to stay relevant. It will be "modern, fully automated, highly technical and futuristic."

He also said that the new Defender will become the “backbone of the Land Rover brand”.

While McGovern has been hesitant to reveal much about the new Defender, he did give us this last morsel: For all the rivet counters out there, we have bad news for you. The new Defender will not have visible rivets.

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