All-new Land Rover Defender crucial to firm’s revival
29th Jan 2019 8:00 am
It will be available in up to 12 variants including a full-size five-door version and a short-wheelbase three-door version.
Land Rover is gearing up to unveil the all-new Defender later this year with an international launch expected in early 2020. The Defender has been around in some form or the other since 1983, though it wore the iconic Defender badge only from 1990 onwards. It has been a favourite for off-roading for decades and has received quite a fan base over the years. The last Defender rolled off the production line in January 2016; and that car wasn’t drastically different from the models that came before it.
The British brand has now decided to bring back the Defender albeit completely redesigned, this time. Land Rover intends to reveal an entire family of cars for the Defender to show their commitment to reviving this iconic vehicle. There have been numerous spy shots of the new Defender with heavy camouflage, undergoing testing. These images have revealed that the firm is working on a full-size five-door Defender as well as a short-wheelbase three-door version. The five-door version has been spotted with and without a rear-mounted spare wheel. Images have also revealed the independent rear suspension, although other details are scarce.
These cars give us a glimpse of what the entire range will be, which is currently speculated to be 12 variants strong. A whole host of different body styles, from pick-ups to soft-tops, will be spun off the new model and fitted-out with everything from ultra-utilitarian interiors to super-luxury versions, in order to broaden the Defender’s appeal.
This model will be crucial for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as the company has faced two consecutive loss-making quarters last year and has taken steps to improve its situation.
The brand announced a turnaround plan designed to save money and improve its cash flow over the next 18 months; which also entails trimming its R&D budget.
To this end, JLR has already shut down production at the Castle Bromwich and Solihull plants. The latter was used for the production of the previous-gen Defender. Despite all these cost savings, Land Rover is going all-out with the new Defender; indicating that there will be a lot riding on the newly revived model.
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