2016 Land Rover Defender

The other extreme would be to tag the Defender on to the LR2 components set, which has been derived from such humble passenger cars as Ford Focus, Mondeo, and Kuga. The question is: can this DNA be stretched far enough to cover the extreme requirements a new Defender needs to meet?

Another option for Land Rover would be to find a strong partner could share development costs and production volumes, but at this point all the big names seem to be tied up elsewhere.

That leaves a forth option, which is simply for Land Rover to develop its own new architecture with partner Jaguar. This would likely include a premium, aluminum-intensive space frame for the next Jaguars as well as the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, as well as a more affordable steel architecture, which should spawn in a first step the all-new Defender. Such a Defender would appear in two versions: an indestructible, no-frills Land Rover for Costa Rican coffee farmers and a chic and trick Road Rover for the Malibu in-crowd. Eventually, this same architecture could find its way under the next LR2, along with other new models. Expect four-cylinder gas and diesel engines play an increasing role, in combination with electric motors.

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I truly hope that Land Rover does not change the Defender into a cute-ute as Ford has mistakenly done with the Explorer. As your picture illustrates, the Defender is the real serious Land Rover, the one that goes where pretenders truly cannot. It is the Land Rover (and perhaps the only SUV) that goes out on safaris and out on desert treks. There is no way that a cute-ute can handle that. Land Rover should just develop an all-new platform for the Defender and turn the LR2 and Range Rover into cute-utes for the pretenders. That would leave the LR4 for serious off-roaders.

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