First introduced in 1948, the Land Rover Defender has been one of the world’s most iconic off-road vehicles. Little has changed in the design or technology over the past six decades and Land Rover has enjoyed sales of more than two million worldwide as a result. Now however, an all-new Defender will be released in 2015 based on the DC100 concept, set to be unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Images of the DC100 released by Land Rover show a vehicle radically brought into the 21st century with curved edges and sleek lines a stark contrast to the straight and boxy original Defender. Die-hard fans of the original are probably not best pleased with the concept’s design, however it is clear Land Rover are looking to the future.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's Director of Design said:
'Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide,' he said. 'This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.'
John Edwards, global brand director Land Rover, added:
'Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.
'We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle. One thing's for sure, it's going to be an exciting journey, and we can't wait to get going.'
Few details of the next generation Defender are available, however Land Rover are expected to maintain the vehicle’s immense off-road ability and possibly market the car in the U.S. The current Defender has not been available since 1997 as it does not comply with current U.S. safety regulations.
N.B. Remember, its a concept, the first step in replacing the Defender, not the last. Personally, I like the idea, provided the Landie's legendary off-road ability isn't compromised in any way. The current Defender only sells to a niche market (squeezed out by its main rivals, the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol) and there's the pressure for an updated version for the Armed Forces, the service vehicle market etc. It's a mammoth task and has to be done. I hope they get it right.