Jaguar Land Rover un­veils new De­fender Con­cept 100

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS - Carmel Stewart

JAGUAR Land Rover chose the 12th Delhi Auto Expo Mo­tor Show to an­nounce the as­sem­bly of a third model at its fac­tory in In­dia by the end of this year.

CEO, Ralf Speth, said that the flag­ship Jaguar XJ will join the XF and Land Rover Free­lander mod­els al­ready be­ing made at the plant in Pune. He said that both brands are strug­gling to keep up with global de­mand and JLR is util­is­ing all the ca­pac­ity it can in the UK and In­dia be­fore new as­sem­bly op­er­a­tions open up in China and Brazil.

Lo­cal as­sem­bly in In­dia is also im­por­tant as im­port taxes can dou­ble the price of ve­hi­cles. The fac­tory in Pune is owned by JLR par­ent com­pany Tata. The Free­lander has been as­sem­bled there since 2010; it was joined by the XF last year. From the end of this year, Pune will make 3.0 litre diesel and 2.0 litre petrol ver­sions of the XJ.

JLR also chose the Delhi show to de­but the Land Rover De­fender Con­cept 100 and De­fender Con­cept 100 Sport – al­though pro­duc­tion is far from im­mi­nent. An all-new Land Rover De­fender has been on the cards for a few years. The fi­nal prod­uct is ex­pected to be a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from that which has gone be­fore.

Land Rover’s de­sign di­rec­tor Gerry McGovern said: “The cur­rent De­fender has never sold on its de­sign and has changed very lit­tle over the years.

“What we are work­ing on is some­thing that will be more de­sir­able to look at – the tra­di­tion­al­ists might not like it but they’ll have to live with it.

“It will still be as ca­pa­ble as be­fore and there will be ref­er­ences to the old model – it might even have a spare wheel on the back.

“The im­por­tant thing is to get the pro­por­tions right, give it a dis­tinc­tive sil­hou­ette and wider ap­peal. What we re­ally need to do is make it more rel­e­vant to the mod­ern world, lighter, more aero­dy­namic and more cost ef­fec­tive.

“There is still a lot of work to do on the busi­ness case, the ar­chi­tec­ture, where we will build it etc, so we are still look­ing at least two years or more from now.”

NEW LOOK: The Land Rover De­fender Con­cept 100 and Sport mod­els de­buted at the Delhi Auto Expo mo­tor show.

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