Currently reading: New Land Rover Defender design signed off
Land Rover has finalised the design of the replacement for its 66-year-old icon, due to expire in 2015, but don't expect it to look like the DC100 concept

Land Rover has ‘frozen’ the final shape of its next, all-new Defender – and the company says that it will look very different from the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts unveiled three years ago by design boss Gerry McGovern.

The DC models were shown in 2011 with the specific intention of kick-starting the discussion about the future of Land Rover’s oldest and most iconic model, and they generated worldwide controversy and debate.

The company says that its new design won’t be a direct replacement for the 66-year-old original when that ceases production at the end of next year. Bosses are currently busy discussing what interval should elapse between the outgoing model’s demise and the new edition’s debut.

Another important discussion point is believed to be whether Land Rover should reveal parts of its new Defender plan early, via a more focused design concept. Company bigwigs acknowledge that for many of the faithful, the original Land Rover remains at the heart of what the company does, even though it has not contributed significantly to profits for many years.

Industry watchers say that Land Rover’s key challenge will be to come up with an all-new family of ‘premium durability’ Defenders – possibly built on a unique platform – that are capable of generating annual sales of more than 50,000 units, which would enable economic viability.

The DC100 concept, first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt show and later made available for limited driving exercises in California, won approval for its simplicity and freshness but created controversy among Land Rover traditionalists. 

Within the company, the DC100 is now viewed as “a little too generic”, and the production model’s design is understood to retain the simplicity but be more adventurous.

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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

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ZZR1400 18 September 2014

The shape and looks

had nothing to do with disliking the DC100, the fact is the DC100 looked great but was so impractical, how exactly could I throw three muddy sheep and my dog in the back of that, drive across a ploughed field, do that sort of work for ten years then expect to sell it for any sort of money transaction?

It was just too impractical for what the owners of Defenders use them for, real work. We don't want or need a soft roader that looks good outside a restaurant, we need a real hard working, reliable work horse, a vehicle that can get dirty every day for 10 years and just needs a hose out every few months. A vehicle that can still be sold for a decent amount of money even with dented panels and torn seat coverings!

The main problem with the Defender is that it is too good for its own good, we keep them until they die. They're easy and cheap to fix and the accessories catalogue is huge, everything is replceable.

foot of our stairs 18 August 2014

reminds me of the Mini

Remember the original Mini hardly changed over its entire lifespan. I took the Germans to recognise what the car was, how strong the brand could be, and how to build a better one.

I think the same has happened with Land Rover, the company could almost forget it and become Range Rover that's what they know and do well.

What I think it needs is a very simple stripped out, clean design done to a very high quality, thnk Leica crossed a MK 1 Landy. Without leather, lots of exposed metal zero exposed plastic, resist the affectations of the custom market and computerised gass suspension, but give the fit and finish like a Swiss watch. Than you can sell it at a premium and it still be a Landy

foot of our stairs 13 August 2014

The competition is not that great

Actually the Lancruiser although kiing of the of roads is ugly as heck and getting uglier.

if LR can do a super clean stripped back design. They could make something people actually want to pay "premium" for and still be a back to basics off / on road small truck/ car.

I mean take it right back to the metal, functional tough of road wheels and tyres, no silly custom inspired plastic wheel arches or bolt on affectations, get the plastic out of the dash, no carpets, or computer controlled suspension to let you down.
Look to say Leicia or Apple for inspiration