Venerable Off-Road Goes 21st Century
Land Rover is considering what a 21st century version of the classic Defender SUV would look like. Our first preview of such a vehicle is with the Frankfurt concept that reinterprets the original Defender.
The Land Rover concept appears to retain some of the hallmarks of the beloved Defender 90 (i.e. boxy profile, stubby wheelbase, exposed spare tire) while simultaneously incorporating cues (i.e. fender vents, flared wheel wheels, large wheels, etc.) that are increasingly ingrained into modern Land Rover design DNA.
“Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world,” Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s director of design, said in a prepared release. “It is a car that inspires people world wide. This isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”
Expect to see a new Defender around the world in 2015. Officials say they hope to use this concept to engage with customers on what features should be included in the actual production vehicle.
One decision that must be made is whether the Defender will return to North America. While previous reports suggested the all-new design could be engineered to meet NHTSA and FMVSS standards, Land Rover’s official stance is there is “no current decision on whether or not the next-generation Defender will come to North American markets.”