Land Rover Previews Next-Gen Land Rover Defender
Land Rover's next-generation Land Rover Defender model, which is expected to hit the market sometime in 2019, has been the source of much speculation ever since the celebrated British SUV brand confirmed that it was working on an all-new version of its classic off-roader. Along with the confirmation came the statement that the new Defender will be marketed specifically to a younger buyer base, which had pundits believing that many classic elements will be replaced by more modern features.
To give a taste of what's to come--and perhaps to allay the fears of Defender traditionalists--Land Rover chief design officer Gerry McGovern said that his team of designers and engineers are "hellbent" on ensuring the latest version lives up to--with the potential to exceed--the success of the original and live up to brand expectations.
During a presentation in Palm Springs, California, McGovern gave a few clues about the next Defender, saying that the design work is complete, and what's next is for Land Rover's engineers to realize what the design team has put on paper.
As the presentation went on, McGovern continued to describe the Land Rover's three members--the Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender--and proceeded to list the traits that each must have to stay true to its original mission while looking ahead towards the future.
For the Defender to succeed today, McGovern said that it needs to tick three boxes, namely: design leadership, durability, and engineering integrity. As he mentioned this, a sketch showing the next Defender's silhouette appeared on a flat-screen TV inside the venue. The image showed a vehicle with a flat roof and squared-off front end, which are both prominent characteristics of the original Defender released in 1948.
But before people could assume that the new version will look the same way as before, McGovern was quick to quash that idea with a simple statement. "I am a modernist. I'm looking forward, not back," he told reporters.
Considering what McGovern said and what the silhouette showed, it's safe to say that the next-generation Land Rover Defender should be instantly recognizable, but it will also come with modern features to ensure its continuing relevance.