The replacement for the iconic Land Rover Defender is expected to go on sale sometime in 2016.
The Land Rover Defender has been on sale since 1983 largely unchanged; only the interior trim and engines have changed significantly. Indeed, it’s related to the original Land Rover of 1948.
According to Autocar, the next-generation Defender will be new from the ground up. It is expected to use a version of Land Rover’s aluminium monocoque, which underpins the new Discovery Sport, mounted on top of a substantial aluminium superstructure.
This ‘double chassis’ arrangement should produce an extremely stiff, yet light, structure. Power will come from Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines. The range could also include a V6. Automatic gearboxes are likely to be standard fitment.
Autocar suggests the styling has already been signed off and that a concept could be seen at a motor show next year.
In an effort to boost the Defender’s appeal in developing markets, it will apparently use the same wheel and tyre sizes as the hugely popular Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux. It will have a better quality interior than its Japanese rivals, as well.
Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, Jaguar Land Rover’s group marketing director, Phil Popham, said the new Defender will have the greatest “breadth of ability” of any Land Rover.
The more sophisticated chassis and drivertrain should make it more usable on-road while maintaining its world-beating off-road ability.