A high-ranking Land Rover executive has promised the all-new Defender will “retain some of the original appeal”, while becoming far “more liveable” than its forebear.
Speaking to Trucks.com, Joe Eberhardt, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover North America, suggested the upcoming new Defender would be the automaker’s most capable off-road vehicle ever, but still offer comfort and versatility.
“The new Defender will retain some of the original appeal. But it’s a vehicle you can drive every day for as long as you want as opposed to the old Defender,” Eberhardt told the US-based publication.
He furthermore suggested the fact the new model would be “more liveable” than the original would see it appeal to a wider audience. Nathan Hoyt, a spokesperson at the firm, agreed.
“The vast majority of people are living with this car day-to-day so it needs to be refined and comfortable but also live up to that Defender name,” Hoyt said.
“I’ve driven the early prototypes, and they are so refined. I think everybody will find something to enjoy.”
The new-generation Defender is expected to run on the automaker’s latest all-aluminium platform, ditching the original’s ladder-frame chassis. Late in 2017, Gerry McGovern, the British brand’s design director, promised the new model would retain the original’s off-road capability, but warned it wouldn’t necessarily look much like its predecessor.
While spy photographers have snapped the short-wheelbase Defender 90 and the larger five-door 110 derivative, an earlier report suggested Land Rover would also include a bakkie in the upcoming range, positioned to take on the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.
Expect the new Defender to be fully revealed at some point in 2019, with sales set to start in 2020.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.