The model, which would be be built and badged as an all-new car, but bear strong resemblance in both look and character to the Defender, is currently being considered for production by chemical giant Ineos.
The firm is due to carry out a feasibility study to see if the model is econonically viable for production this year, with the results due in December. If the results are positive, Ineos's director has told Autocar the model is likely to feature a powertrain and underpinnings borrowed from another automotive brand.
"Fundamentally we're not in the industry so we'd want to partner with an experienced brand," explained Tom Crotty. "We think there is an ongoing market for the vehicle if you can make it reliable and conform to [safety and emissions] regulations. We've done a lot of stuff in Africa and they love [the Defender] out there, but they don't love its reliability."
Crotty suggested that sticking with a proven powertrain would be most appropriate, given that it would have to be reliable in extreme climates and conditions. "[An] electric [drivetrain] is too advanced - this car needs to work to work in Sub-Saharan desert," he added, before confirming that the old Defender's Ford Transit-derived diesel engine would definitely not be used.
Crotty cited the US and Africa as key markets to be considered for the new model, adding that the US was a largely untapped market for the original Defender. "It's the world's biggest buyer of SUVs and a market of more than 300 million people," he said.