Land Rover hints at 2015 Defender
Friday 02 September 2011
How do you replace a car that has been a success for more than sixty years? Land Rover thinks it may finally have the answer, in the form of a new concept, codenamed DC100, to be shown at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
For years, the company has agonised over the question of whether or how to produce a successor to its rugged Defender, a model that is a direct descendent of the first, rather basic 4x4 to carry the Land Rover name in 1948. The Defender isn't a particularly big seller in the overall Land Rover scheme of things – most of the growth these days comes from the company's luxurious Range Rover line-up, which is just about to receive another big boost with the first deliveries this month of the new baby Range Rover, the Evoque.
On the other hand the rough and ready Defender is the source of much of the company's reputation for tough go-anywhere off-road capability, a reputation that probably helps underpin sales of the posher models too. The Defender has also long been a favourite with military customers and utility customers, and a replacement could also help Land Rover fight back in emerging markets where it has ceded a lot of ground to Japanese competitors.
Land Rover strikes a somewhat equivocal note on the subject of just how closely the next Defender, due in 2015, will resemble the DC100. The company's design chief, Gerry McGovern, says “This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century”, and John Edwards, Land Rover's Global Brand Director wants the people who might buy the car to influence the process - this from the company that fought so hard to preserve almost every detail of the 2008 LRX as it was turned into the Evoque.
The equivocation is understandable; the Defender is, after all, an almost impossible act to follow. But it may also reflect uncertainty about other questions – whether to produce a truly bare-bones, back-to-basics take on the Defender theme, for example, as opposed to something plusher in line with other modern Land Rover models, which would also influence the technical architecture of the new model.
Life & Style blogs
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time: 10 worst gadgets of recent times
Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
The secret to a great sex life revealed: Two cups of coffee a day
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Teenager tries to buy elderly homeless man breakfast at McDonald's but is told homeless people cannot be served under 'new policy'
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...