Land Rover has ‘frozen’ the final shape of its next, all-new Defender – and the company says that it will look very different from the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts unveiled three years ago by design boss Gerry McGovern.

The DC models were shown in 2011 with the specific intention of kick-starting the discussion about the future of Land Rover’s oldest and most iconic model, and they generated worldwide controversy and debate.

The company says that its new design won’t be a direct replacement for the 66-year-old original when that ceases production at the end of next year. Bosses are currently busy discussing what interval should elapse between the outgoing model’s demise and the new edition’s debut.

Another important discussion point is believed to be whether Land Rover should reveal parts of its new Defender plan early, via a more focused design concept. Company bigwigs acknowledge that for many of the faithful, the original Land Rover remains at the heart of what the company does, even though it has not contributed significantly to profits for many years.

Industry watchers say that Land Rover’s key challenge will be to come up with an all-new family of ‘premium durability’ Defenders – possibly built on a unique platform – that are capable of generating annual sales of more than 50,000 units, which would enable economic viability.

The DC100 concept, first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt show and later made available for limited driving exercises in California, won approval for its simplicity and freshness but created controversy among Land Rover traditionalists. 

Within the company, the DC100 is now viewed as “a little too generic”, and the production model’s design is understood to retain the simplicity but be more adventurous.

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