A high-ranking Land Rover designer has taken a swipe at the recently revealed Mercedes-Benz G-Class, saying he “tried analysing it to see what was new” but found very little.

Richard Woolley, design studio director at the Whitley-based automaker, told Automotive News that he wished his company had shown the upcoming new Defender alongside the new G-Class in Detroit at the start of 2018.

"We know the burden of responsibility in terms of replacing that vehicle," Woolley said. "Icon is a word that is bandied around a lot these days, but the original Defender is one that qualifies."

Woolley added that the new Defender would be a “different kind of vehicle” to the original.

"It will be, has to be, a different kind of vehicle, but still true to the Defender and Defender principles," he added.

And the G-Class?

"I tried analysing it to see what was new. Every panel on the car is new, but it looks very similar to the previous one. I guess one thing I wish was that we were showing the Defender at the same time . That would have been good. I think that the Defender will, you know, push it in the shade," he said.

Gerry McGovern, the brand's design boss, in 2017 admitted that the styling of the new Defender would be “polarising”, adding that he didn't expect diehard Defender fans to buy the new one.