Land Rover will ditch body-on-frame for a unibody construction.
Production of the iconic Land Rover Defender came to a close in 2016 after more than 30 years on the market, much to the disappointment of off-road enthusiasts everywhere. But as they say, pain is only temporary. Reports confirm that a new Defender will be on the market in just a few years... it just won't be the same old-school off-roader we’ve come to know and love.
According to Automotive News, the Land Rover Defender will live on with the same D7U unibody construction that underpins the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The aluminum-intensive platform will be lighter, and will help keep costs down. Even though it’s ditching the body-on-frame setup synonymous with most off-road vehicles, the company promises that the new Defender will still be the most capable vehicle in its class.
The first concept could show up as early as next year prior to its scheduled 2019 debut. Apart from a unibody construction, the new Land Rover will come in several different body styles, said design chief Gery McGovern in an interview, and that it will remain instantly recognizable as a Defender without too many retro cues.
Both a soft-top and a four-door options will be offered, and power will come courtesy of JLR’s four-cylinder Ingenium gas and diesel engines. The company kicked off production of its new Ingenium engines and Transcend transmissions last September as part of a $39.5-million investment into new technology.
The most promising news of all is that the new Defender will be "sold in all global markets," says Automotive News, including North America. Only a handful of Defenders were imported into the U.S. between 1993 and 1997, making them hard to come by. The new Defender is likely to be built at JLR’s new Nitra, Slovakia manufacturing plant.
Source: Automotive News