Report: New Land Rover Defender May Debut at Frankfurt

It wasn’t that long ago that company executives were saying that Land Rover might finally kill off its legendary Defender. Now, though, Auto Expressreports that a “futuristic reinvention” of the Defender will be unveiled next month as a concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Defender is perhaps the most traditional and famous of all Land Rovers. It has been sold virtually unchanged for decades. Its boxy shape and go-anywhere off-road abilities have made the Defender an icon. But its antediluvian underpinnings (and thus a lack of safety and emissions equipment) mean it can no longer be sold in the U.S., and that by 2016 sales in Europe will have to stop.

The new Land Rover Defender will be built upon the heavy-duty chassis used by the LR3. Rather than a facelift, Auto Express reports that it is an all-new vehicle. Like the LR3, the new Defender would reportedly get the Terrain Response System that adjusts suspension, engine, and four-wheel-drive settings to help Land Rovers tackle a variety of different surfaces.

Building a new version of Land Rover’s most iconic model is a tough act. Colin Green, managing director of Land Rover U.K., told Auto Express that, “If we get it wrong, we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons.”

A new range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines will be under the Defender’s hood. The SUV’s interior will be thoroughly revised, with modern navigation and infotainment systems. It’s expected that the interiors of future Land Rover products will be styled after that of the Evoque.

The new Land Rover Defender debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but should reach production lines by 2013.

Source: Auto Express

xandj
I think that the only company that's always got it right, is about to get it wrong. Land Rover Defender is a remarkable vehicle which sets the distinctive mark for the company, even more so than the Range Rover. There is something to be said for building the best off road vehicle and decades later it's still the best. Land Rover never followed the pack - don't be followers and mainstream the Defender as you'll loose your bearing. If you want to make a trendy vehicle, call it the Land Rover Trendy, but don't insult the Defender and use it's name. Be as smart as you've been for decades and keep your icon going - Defenders never say "STOP", they just keep going and going and going...
CCDeville
I've been waiting for this moment since 1997 when they stopped importing them to our side of the pond. I was just graduating from high school then and couldn't even dream of affording one. 14 years later, wife and two kids and a good job, and I could buy one. But it's going to suck. Come on people, you know it's going to be nothing like the current Defender. That type of person that would buy a current Defender will not be interested in the new Defender. What a shame. Infotainment. Please. Don't make me buy a Jeep Rubicon, I don't want to. But what else is there?

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