Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth confirms a Defender mule is in development, and says it looks fantastic
Steve Cropley Autocar
30 September 2016

The new Land Rover Defender is already undergoing testing, according to Jaguar Land Rover chief Dr Ralf Speth, who told Autocar he has driven prototypes of the model.

He said the appearance of the car, seen above in an Autocar image, has been decided and looks “fantastic”.

With design and engineering now at the stage of development testing on road, the new Defender is expected to arrive in 2018.

The new Land Rover Defender is set to be the most high tech car the firm has ever made - read about it here:

It will be based on the aluminium architecture of the new Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport and could be made in the same plant, in Solihull, although Land Rover now has aluminium plants in several places.

Speth confirmed it won’t be related to the Discovery Sport or Evoque models.

He added that it will be “fairly different” from other models in actual body componentry, because a vehicle of this capability has to be very tough indeed.

"There is no question of the new Defender just being an icon. We are working on an authentic successor to the old Defender. The architecture will contain a lot of elements that are different [from other aluminium cars]," said Speth.

He also admitted that "all our vehicles have to make money". Land Rover has previously been reluctant to confirm its next Defender project, with the firm understood to be struggling to justify the cost of a model which is relatively low-volume, yet which needs to offer world-class off-roading abilities and general reliability, something its predecessor is famed for.

Read more about the new Discovery

 

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Comments
31

30 September 2016
If they design and make it properly and it is "very tough indeed"
it could be very successful, and therefore not low volume at all.
I like the old Defender very much but it's general appeal was limited by all it's 'endearing' little faults. A new Defender with the strengths of the old model and without the drawbacks should be very popular and high, not low, volume.

30 September 2016
Surely you jest? Have we lost the sense of what a journalist is supposed to be? Why not cut out the middle man and let car company marketing people write the magazine. Autocar would save salaries and the car industry could drastically cut their catering bill.

30 September 2016
Clarkey, are you commenting on the LR range in general or specifically the Defender ? Last time I looked at the reliability of the LR group as a whole it was doing very well at around 95%, and compared very favourably with all their competitors.

I haven't seen any specific data on the Defender, so can't comment with any authority, but subjectively I too had the impression they were reliable go anywhere workhorses, which is why they are so popular with Farmers and Utility companies etc.

30 September 2016
jonrbloom wrote:

Clarkey, are you commenting on the LR range in general or specifically the Defender ? Last time I looked at the reliability of the LR group as a whole it was doing very well at around 95%, and compared very favourably with all their competitors.

I haven't seen any specific data on the Defender, so can't comment with any authority, but subjectively I too had the impression they were reliable go anywhere workhorses, which is why they are so popular with Farmers and Utility companies etc.

Go on then if your so convinced of their reliability go and buy one. Good lord are there people out there that actually think a Landrover product is reliable......Well done Steve, JLR looking after you in Paris are they?

289

30 September 2016
Haha, spot on Clarkey.
Whoever wrote this crap?.....Steve! - I expect a more balanced - less biased view from you. I know you are a Landy fan, but in no measure can a Defender or series LR be seen as reliable...fixable yes, but never reliable. That's why most Farmers now use Japanese 4x4 pick-ups.
One would have expected that something so mechanically simple and basic would be reliable....but sadly no.
One local farmer in our village (the only one around here not using Japanese product), has 4 LWB twin cab Defenders all around 3 years old....they spend a lot...real lot of time in their workshop! Their shepherds Toyota is about 15 or 20 years old...battered to hell and still needs nothing other than some fresh oil once a year (or two!)
They have stuck with them because at the time, they were the only workhorse with a 3.5 tonne towing limit - needed for moving livestock around. Of course several Japanese Pick-ups are rated for 3.5 tonnes now (I believe Isuzu were first).
With regard to jonrblooms comment about better JLR reliability ratings, I think you will find that it is Jaguar which is putting in the vastly improved results which is making the 'JLR' figures look better.
The added layers of complexity on the latest LR product RR/RR Sport/Disco 5 etc. will be a challenge for Land Rover...only the next 3 years will tell once they have plenty of 70k+ miles vehicles on the road.
The sad thing is that there is little in the way of incentive for LR to improve their reliability as despite personally knowing many LR owners who have had massive mechanical and electrical issues, they still keep buying them. Now that's brand loyalty!

30 September 2016
Agree that if it starts at say £30k to £50k for top spec, should sell in high volumes , probably outsell the old m,odel fourfold . The old model was very slow, low top speed ,barely 80mph and drank derv more than a v8 RR.

30 September 2016
I do think they are going down the wrong path with this. The aluminium architecture can't support open, pick up or chassis cab variants, and is expensive. Seems like new Defender will be a life style interpretation of the old one rather than a genuine successor. Shame.

289

30 September 2016
you have a point, but I believe that the new Defender will be more of a Discovery replacement since the new Discovery has moved even further 'up-market'
Probably LR have decided the utility market is irrecoverable now/non-profitable, and therefore not worth chasing. They are probably right!

30 September 2016
We are hungry for the Defender. We can't wait until 2018 lunch.

30 September 2016
Now this one looks just right....so to ensure its as tough as nails; Give it a highly reworked 2500 psi common rail twin turbo 2.5ltr TD5 good for 175Kw/450m..and apart from servos for diff-lock on the fly, avoid too much electronic namby-pamby....then it'll take a candle to the landcruiser and survive 3 decades. And the only hybrid woth considering for this vehicle....oughtta be dual-fuel capability for the engine (LPG / Diesel).

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