The Defender should be on sale in the first half of 2019.
Anonymous Land Rover insiders once again insinuate that a fully electrified version of the next-gen Defender would be part of the new model's lineup. The unnamed sources tell Motoring that the current plan is for the EV to have at least one motor and a high-capacity battery, but these folks wouldn't provide any further info.
Current rumors indicate that the new Defender would debut in production form at Land Rover's 70th anniversary celebration in the second half of 2018. Actual sales would commence in the first half of 2019, and the revived off-roader would eventually be available globally, including in the United States.
Land Rover has reportedly abandoned plans to use the DC100 concept (below) as the styling inspiration for the new Defender because of a poor reception to the retro-inspired show car. Instead, the company has decided on what Land Rover creative director Gerry McGovern called a "polarizing" look, and he promised that it wasn't "a facsimile of the old one."
The new Defender will ride on a version of the aluminum platform that's underneath the current Discovery and Range Rover, and there will be two wheelbase lengths mimicking the previous 90 and 110 versions. Land Rover will offer the new model with both a hard or soft top for fully enclosing the cabin, but a pickup will likely join the range later. Most Defenders will get their power from Jaguar Land Rover's family in Ingenium four-cylinder turbocharged gas- and diesel-fueled engines, but the EV offers a choice for buyers that want to go green.
When it arrives in the United States, the Defender will have to take on the one-two punch from the latest Jeep Wrangler and revived Ford Bronco that will be competing in the same segment of tough-looking, off-road-capable SUVs. We can't wait to see how the three of them compare.
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