DE­FENDER SPIED

Ev­ery­thing you need to know on page 11

Land Rover Monthly - - Front Page -

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....

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