The Land Rover Defender hails from the time when SUVs were proper SUVs that used to climb scenery and reach the destination pretty much as the crow flies.
The Land Rover Defender’s current model been in production since 1991. Come 2015, the Defender will have to be pulled out of the market as it will not meet the new European regulations on crash safety for pedestrians.
The Defender is the production version of the Land Rover DC100 Concept (DC stands for Defender Concept). The Chinese media speculate that after the new Defender is revealed in England, the DC100 will see Chinese production in 2015 by the Chery-JLR joint venture.
The 2015 Land Rover Defender will get a lightened versions of Land Rover’s T5 ladder chassis currently deployed on the Discovery and Range Rover Sport. The basic design of the DC100 design will make it to the production model although details such as wheels, lights, grilles and interior styling will be slightly modified.
The DC100 Concept features some clever gadgetry such as an plug-in hybrid technology, eight-speed automatic and stop/start; four-wheel drive with adaptive GPS mated to a terrain-response data; sonar sensing for fording water and deployable tires spikes. A lot of the DC100 technology will make it to the production version (the deployable tires spikes may not make it!)
Land Rover will place more emphasis on the brand name itself. The 2015 Defender will not be agrarian or utilitarian as the outgoing model and instead Land Rover will be focusing on the ’premiumness’ of the Defender. Fear not, it will still be as ‘As tough as nails’ claims Gerry McGovern, design director of Jaguar-Land Rover.
The wheelbase of the production version will be around 2.45m. When it goes into production in China, it will be produced at the new Chery-JLR joint venture factory at Changshu, 100km west of Shanghai.
It is not just China that will get the new Defender. Land Rover is planning to build the 2015 Land Rover Defender in India, at a new plant, according to media reports. Some variants will be shipped back to Europe as a ‘reverse CKD’ operation.
We will get a full picture of the new Defender in 2014 when the automaker finally lets the cat out of the bag.