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.
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.
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