Everything you need to know on page 11
IS THIS what the new Defender will look like? The first spy shots of the longoverdue model have finally appeared, and the motoring press have got rather excited, but here at LRM we reckon this is a ‘mule’ – in other words it has got the new vehicle’s running gear, but not the bodywork. Instead, a crudely butchered Range Rover body has been dropped on to disguise it.
From side-on, with half of its back doors, it looks like a big chunk of the body has been chopped out to suit a wheelbase similar to the outgoing 90, although rumours from Solihull claim it is unlikely that such a short wheelbase will make production.
According to a report in Auto Express, who published the spy shots, JLR executive Dr Ralf Speth told them that the new Defender would be even more capable than the outgoing model when the terrain gets challenging. He also revealed that the design and engineering work behind the new Defender has been all but finalised and that he has even had the opportunity to try the new vehicle against competitors, claiming it is “sensational”.
There are no timelines on when the new vehicle will debut, but Land Rover insiders say the first of a new family of Defenders will definitely appear later this year. Design boss Gerry Mcgovern has hinted that a performance SVR version could be on the cards, as well as a hardcore off-road SVX and a luxurious SVA edition.
We are relieved to hear, however, that the new Defender will still be about durability, according to Mcgovern, who added: “It is that indestructible, durable vehicle which is what a family of Defenders would be. It will be able to do everything it says on the tin.”
Is this what new Defender will look like? We don’t think so....