A modern SUV with some retro cues thrown in for good measure.

Land Rover’s upcoming new Defender has been the subject of much discussion over the past few months. In June, it was confirmed that the company was indeed working on an all-new version of the classic off-roader, and that it would be aimed specifically at a younger generation of buyers. With that younger buyer base in mind, that calls for a more modern design, naturally.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief design officer, gave some telling clues as to the SUV’s new look. First and foremost, he confirmed that the new model will live up to – with the potential to exceed – the success of the original. Designers and engineers are both "hellbent," he said, on assuring that it lives up to its name.

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McGovern continued on, separating the Land Rover marque into three unique parts: Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender. Of course, the former of the three has spawned stunning luxury variants like the Velar, as well as the tried and tested Sport. The Defender, though, would be more focused on design leadership, durability, and engineering integrity. 

Like the example before it, the new variant will come with a number of signature cues like a flat roof, and a squared-off front end to help define the Defender nameplate. Just don’t expect it to be a clone of the original, McGovern saying:

"I am a modernist. I'm looking forward, not back."

Alongside features like boxy fenders and a tapered roof, the Defender will include some styled edges, as well as unique flourishes throughout to help bring the classic SUV into the modern age. The taillights will be more modern, while the headlights will draw more inspiration from the classic, with unique LED lightning features presented throughout. 

All told, the Defender should be instantly recognizable to its name, with plenty of modern cues to boot. The company has already stated that the new model will ditch the body-on-frame design for a unibody construction, and that the SUV will be sold globally. No word on when the Defender will make it to market officially, but expect to see the SUV as early as 2019.

Source: Automotive News

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