Currently reading: LR unsure on new Defender
Land Rover is unsure on new Defender but knows what it should be

Land Rover “knows what the new Defender should be”, according to a senior source, but the company is still working out how it will be engineered and put into production.

As part of the plan, it is likely to cut down on the huge variation of commercial body variations and allow military sales to dwindle.

See pics of 62 years of the Land Rover Defender

Land Rover started work on its replacement to the iconic 62-year-old Defender, known internally as Project Icon, in March this year.

Tata Motors signed off funds for a full engineering and design programme for the car and the project has therefore been granted a place in Land Rover’s product cycle and is due to be launched in 2014.

Read Autocar’s first drive of the Land Rover Defender 110 2.4D Station Wagon

Land Rover insiders have admitted the brand needs a greater clarity and some customers find its current model line-up confusing.

The Land Rover Defender will be reinvented with Project Icon and, even though the Defender name is unlikely to be carried over to the new car, many of the original car’s looks and values could be used in the final production model.

The car had previously been tipped to 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.See all the latest Land Rover reviews, news and video

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vanoord 7 September 2010

Re: LR unsure on new Defender

The important thing for Land Rover is to ensure that it competes with something already in their range - that's what they excel at. Range Rover Sport successfully competes with Range Rover and Discovery 3 (or 4 if you believe the marketing) Freelander was moved upmarket so it could compete with Discovery 3 (yeah yeah, 4) Range Rover Ewok (whatever) will compete with Freelander 2 and Range Rover Sport, with the 5 door competing head-on with Freelander 2, only smaller and more expensive (surely some mistake?) Ideally, new Defender needs to compete with Freelander 2 and Discovery 3 (4, 5, 6 etc), possibly also Range Rover Ewok and anything else of a similar size that Land Rover might dream up over the next decade. Preferably it should appeal to mums on the school run in west London and under no circumstances will it be suitable for a couple of sheep in the back, unless they're packaged in nice little polystyrene trays and carried in a Waitrose bag. Oh dear.

Liam F 2 September 2010

Re: LR unsure on new Defender

LR's celebrity design guru in fact lives in Sawbridgeworth, over the border in Herts, but what's a hockey mum?

Pistachio 2 September 2010

Re: LR unsure on new Defender

Probably checking with Victoria Beckham to make sure it looks OK for Hockey Mums in Essex