Currently reading: Land Rover's new Defender
British firm started development work on its new flagship off-roader a fortnight ago

Land Rover has started work on its replacement to the iconic 62-year-old Defender.

The British firm has formally been working on the Defender replacement, known internally as Project Icon, for two weeks after parent company Tata Motors signed off funds for a full engineering and design programme for the car.

Project Icon has therefore been granted a place in Land Rover’s product cycle and is due to be launched in 2014.

See pics of 62 years of the Land Rover Defender

At this stage, Land Rover is working out the positioning of the car and how it will be marketed. After successfully reinventing the Range Rover brand with new Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover LRX models, Land Rover is turning its attentions to sorting out the positioning and model line-up of its core off-roader range.

Land Rover insiders have admitted the brand needs a greater clarity and some customers find its current model line-up confusing. The Land Rover marque will be reinvented with Project Icon, a car that may not last 60-years, but will be the company’s flagship for at least the next 20.

Project Icon is unlikely to take the Defender name for production, although many of that car’s looks and values could be carried over to the new model. The car had previously been tipped be underpinned by the firm’s T5 steel platform chassis. Although capable, Land Rover feels it will be too heavy going forward in the future.

Land Rover’s Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) technology, which it displayed in a Freelander in 2008, could make production in Project Icon to help improve economy and reduce emissions.

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Freelance journo 6 March 2010

Re: Land Rover's new Defender

Yes, I agree with the above from Rugbyscl. Why do I keep getting this feeling that it will be much too expensive? It needs to be sold in two length versions (just like 90 & 110), be light as possible and very basic. Then owners can specify add-ons if they want.

theonlydt 3 March 2010

Re: Land Rover's new Defender

tdv8 luxury version
A luxury version of a Defender? One with an incredibly expensive, overpowered diesel engine? A defender does not need lots of power. It needs enough power and torque to move itself and 3.5 tonnes, but not quickly. Anything else is wasted weight, fuel and money. It's Landrover listening to comments like "a luxury defender" that pushed the Discovery in to RR territory and made them produce the monstrosity that is the RR Sport.

koyaanisqatsi 3 March 2010

Re: Land Rover's new Defender

a modern defender kept to the same compact dimensions as the original should replace the freelander as well, leaving the softroader toy production to less serious manufacturers, and saving landrover the problem of finding or developing a new frontdrive platform to base the freelander on and bringing the landrover platform count down to two ( hopefully both alloy )