After months of deliberation and being on the brink of elimination more than once, Land Rover has decided to bring the Defender back to the North American market. An exact time table hasn’t been disclosed quite yet, but Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said the next-gen Defender is definitely on its way.
“There will be a new Defender, and it will be tough as nails,” McGovern confirmed to the Washington Post during the 2012 Paris Motor Show last week.
Currently, Land Rover and Jaguar are in the middle of a multi-billion dollar spending spree in an attempt to revamp both lineups. So far, this has brought us the all-new 2011 Jaguar XJ, the 2013 Range Rover, and most notably, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque. The 2014 Jaguar F-Type, which was unveiled in Paris last week, is also a product of this resurgence. Both Land Rover and Jaguar seek to put more of an emphasis on the brand names themselves and have been doing so by fleshing out the more posh end of its portfolio. The addition of the Defender goes against that, but Land Rover believes it will pay off in the long run.
In North America, Land Rover sees more of its Range Rover lineup sold—the Evoque, Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport. Land Rover vehicles like the LR4 don’t have nearly as much traction in North America like it does in other markets where it’s still called the Discovery, but the British automaker is looking to change that. With the addition of the Defender, Land Rover hopes it will be able to infiltrate the middle of the luxury off-roader market once again. And we should have a good idea of what it will look like.
At last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Land Rover unveiled the DC100 concept that was slated to become the next Defender. Scheduled to be released in 2015 originally, Land Rover pushed that date back to launch the Defender and now says that date will be sometime in 2017.
The latest Defender is expected to use exterior styling cues from the DC100 concept but we’re expecting a new grille, interior, wheels, and lights to be featured. Engine specs are still speculative but there are rumbles of both a four-cylinder gasoline engine and a diesel engine that will be available.
Automotive.com’s take: Land Rover has all but come out and said that the next-generation Defender will be headed to our shores. When we contacted Land Rover for comment, they referred us to our sister site Truck Trend for comments. That being said, the silence is deafening.
Source: Washington Post