The next-generation Land Rover Defender has just inched a step closer to production. A new test mule of the off- roader has been spied testing with a new body. What this also means is that the next-gen Defender has finally ditched the Range Rover body that it has been testing with for many months now.
The new body indicates that the Defender will continue to be the boxiest vehicle in Land Rover’s model range. The latest spyshots also indicate that the next-generation model will get a lot more curvier than the older version. A full reveal is expected to happen sometime next year. Land Rover has wasted no opportunity to loudly proclaim that the all-new Defender will be the best 4X4 by far.
The all-new Land Rover Defender is expected to be launched in Europe sometime in 2019. The off-roader is also touted for an Indian launch, although official word is yet to arrive. Code-named the L663, the new Land Rover Defender will be offered in short and long wheelbases, just like the previous iteration.
While Land Rover has been tight lipped about the vehicle’s technical aspects, the grapevine suggests that the British SUV marque will dip into one of the existing platforms for the new Defender. The off-roader will be aluminium heavy in its latest iteration and is expected to be a lot costlier than the older version.
Along with the new platform, the new Defender is likely to gain a lot of creature comforts and safety features to bring it up to date. It will have to meet stringent safety requirements in Europe, along with tighter emission legislation in many countries around the world.
A small capacity turbocharged diesel engine and an electric motor could be offered in the form of a diesel-hybrid on the all-new Land Rover Defender. It remains to be seen if a non-hybrid powertrain is offered on the new Defender considering the fact that emission norms are only going to get tighter with each passing year. The big V8 petrol motor – a signature offering in the previous generation Defender – is likely to be given a miss in the new model.
As for competition, the new Land Rover Defender will compete with the Jeep Wrangler, Mercedes Benz G-Wagen and the Toyota Land Cruiser. In terms of pricing though, the Defender is likely to be more of a Wrangler challenger than a rival of the G-Wagen and Land Cruiser. However, Land Rover will be quite keen to leverage the cult appeal of the Defender badge, and could come up with high-performance bespoke versions of the SUV. More details will be revealed in the coming months.
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