New Land Rover Defender revealed

13 Sep, 2011 2:01pm Mark Griffiths

Updated: Land Rover takes wraps off rugged new DC100 and its chunky design is matched by promise of hybrid power

The new Defender is here at last. Auto Express can lift the lid on the long-awaited replacement for the legendary Land Rover after its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

This is the DC100 concept, and it’s set to cause a stir with its futuristic reinvention of the pioneering off-roader’s iconic design.


The car has been confirmed for launch in 2015, and although official details are still scarce, the Land Rover design team – led by Gerry McGovern – has aimed for what it calls a “functional and purposeful design” that celebrates the practicality of the original.

Trademark Defender styling cues such as the door mirrors and floating roof are set to go hand-in-hand with off-road extras such as a winch, sump guards and heavy-duty tow hooks. Headlights inspired by the Range Rover Evoque add a dash of upmarket style, as do the raised bonnet line and aggressive alloys.

In profile, the block-like shape is combined with sharp creases in the body. Angular glass all-round creates a rugged, wedge-like shape.

Under the skin, the DC100 is expected to feature an updated version of the heavy-duty platform from the Discovery 4. It also offers an enhanced Terrain Response System, as well as an advanced traction control set-up. Power is likely to come from a range of new four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, all developed in-house at Land Rover.

No details on interior design have been released, but the latest satellite navigation and communication systems are expected to feature. This will be a world apart from the agricultural design of the current model.

A few weeks ago, we reported on the huge responsibility Land Rover felt in replacing the Defender, with boss Colin Green telling Auto Express: “If we get it wrong, we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons.”

Design chief McGovern explained: “This isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”

Disqus - noscript

So its here at last but these are the pictures of a concept car on which it will be based and its not here until 2015? Confused!

Anyway, this will be 2015's must have yuppie mobile as I not sure what else the target market will be.

Yes its a "huge" responsibility but lets face it, most of todays farmers have Hi-Luxs and Navaras as the Defender drives like a pig on the road, is too crude, expensive and not big enough.

And the UN and Aid organisations havent bought them for years as they also drive Toyotas and Nissans as it a bit more life and death if they breakdown.

btw - i think the design is pretty good and can see how it will work in LWB, pickup etc.

Shame about the 29" alloys as usual. Perfect for chelsea.

Jaguar Land Rover are probably right to completely change the Defender. The new Jaguars have binned the "retro" look which, let's be honest, didn't appeal to everyone and their sales success justifies the gamble. Perhaps they're trying to attract a whole new market segment with this model, building on the Evoque's apparent success. It may be bold, but JLR seem to be hitting the mark with their range, which is no bad thing.

it looks good but i'm not too keen on those headlights. it looks like something the smurf's would consider driving. not sure if its EU regs that have caused it to look like that or aerodynamics but i would like the front to be more vertically flat, the headlights to be more defined and to standout and when you have a car like this, mostly likely diesel you won't be too concerned about emmisions but that bottom end torque to move you along

First time a new Shape for the Landrover Defender.

Big Brave Move, but ultimately the right one I think!
I can see it being toned down a tad for the utility sector & blinged up accordingly (& kept away from any hint of mud!) by the townies!
Looks a bit Skoda Yeti-ish from some angles but that's no bad thing.
Wonder if it'll have a brand new forward looking name!

I can see potential in this design, there are definite cues from the Original, and rightly so as they basic design is fundamentally righ for a vehicle in that sector, though I am not sure why this concept has been presented with ridiculous alloy wheels? Surely LR are not marketing yet another of their products to the jet-set fashionista? This model surely has to retain the market it has always been aimed at as that is the whole point surely? The freelander and evoque can service the fashionista's but getting industry and public sector such as MOD etc interested they need to tone down the bling and show the potential of the car. They would have much better served showing this concept with proper Defender style wheels and tyres and perhaps tones down the metallic paint look and put a bit more plastic on it. That concept would be scratched to hell in a day on any working farm. I also agree the lights/grille do have a look of a friendly smurf which is a little disconcerting for what is supposed to be a rough and ready utilitarian vehicle. Lastly, the Defender name should stay - there is no reason to completely ditch your heritage when it is as strong and respected as the Defeners is.

People also forget the huge differences between Original Series I Land Rovers and today's Defender, it's just that LR got the evolution so right we all take it forgranted. Admittedly this is a bigger leap than before however.

So when did Land Rover start to make Skoda Yeti's under licence?

The whole articles tone unfortunately sums up the whole problem....mentions of "styling cues" etc.

The series land rovers were never "styled" and the changes over time up to and including the defenders (what the 90 and 110 were latterly called) were always engineering led evolutions- the change to the flat front grill was due changing fans etc and the need to move the radiator forward to accomondate the v8 into the stage1 etc...

the working landrover replacement should be kept as far away from the coloured pencil design types as possible and its design should be led only by functionality...its how we ended up with the current shape! God help us all,

I think this looks fantastic!
WIth modern design criteria it's never going look like the old box that has zero side impact protection. This is good I'd certainly be tempted to buy one.

The whole articles tone unfortunately sums up the whole problem....mentions of "styling cues" etc.

The series land rovers were never "styled" and the changes over time up to and including the defenders (what the 90 and 110 were latterly called) were always engineering led evolutions- the change to the flat front grill was due changing fans etc and the need to move the radiator forward to accomondate the v8 into the stage1 etc...

the working landrover replacement should be kept as far away from the coloured pencil design types as possible and its design should be led only by functionality...its how we ended up with the current shape! God help us all,

it looks like a Skoda Yeti!
pity it will not be made as well

Don’t care what it looks like, as long as it;
easy to drive (which my existing Defender is not ) climbs and grips well, is strong, cheap to repair, and you can put things in and on it.

The Skoda Yeti with a Land River badge and price tag I see

Sadly, the Defender's replacement looks to be another identikit SUV. The styling moves away from the utilitarian looks of the original which is a shame. It will be interesting to see if there is a market for the new car.

very smart looking in concept guise.i also think that the agricultural look will be spot on as well.Well done LR for a bold leap forward

with a hint of Range Rover.. Cant see any yeti sorry Land Rover is in a totally different league to a VW skodaish yeti! T%AKE A LOOK AT THE SIDE PROFILE and tell me that not a winner I like it ... not too sure about the head lamps with a slice chopped of the top they need to be just ROUND ... Job well done!

What we have so far is a Chelsea Tractor. I had a 90 County for many years and this is possibly what it replaces. What the Defender is is a simple basic work horse. easy to maintain. No electronic gimmicks and keeping its of road capability and capable also of satisfying its customers farmers emergency services and the military. A good load carrier ei pigs sheep or bails of hay etc. and ultra reliable. I am hoping this silly design is but in the scrap bin.

Looks a little too pretty to me. But who cares that much about looks. What I want to know is:

- will it be a triumph of function over form?
- will it be the best at off road in it's class
- will farmers be happy to throw bails of hay in the back and drive it through a muddy field, day after day, year after year?
- will the SAS want to bolt a heavy duty machine gun on the back and drive it over the most rugged of terrain into battle?
- will it just keep looking better, the more mud and dings it?
-will it last 20 to 25 years if you maintain it?

Has a hint of Toyota's retro FJ Cruiser which has been around in the states for a while. I like the side profile but the curvy front end ruins the traditional rugged look. To my eye anyway...

The Defender has always been function over form, the fact its looks has meant become a design icon was a happy accident rather than an original design feature. This new design is too styled, is form over function. No one in their right mind is going to take that through a hedge or severe off-roading because the first sign of a scratch or dent it will look knackered. The current Defender looks just as good with a few scratches or dents on it.

Kudos for Land Rover for putting this out there but please guys go back to the drawing board, take down the Style sign and put up a Utilitarian sign instead. The rest of your range does style just fine, the Defender needs to be functional.

So, what’s wrong with the Defender that needs fixing.
- Too much steel and aluminium corrosion
- Body needs to be wider
- Replace rear door with better access
- Do the internal packaging much better
- Fix pedestrian crash issues

Other than that stick with the slab sides that look fine for a few scratches and the flat roof and bonnet you don’t mind clambering over to strap things down.

On a final note you could always sell this design to Nissan so they can make an off-road version of the Cube. ;o)

And really thats what any coming new Defender certainly must be and not a tarted up Chelsea Tractor!

Quite apart from this before any introduction they should give 10 each to the MOD and the Bundeswehr / NATO for practical field evaluation over six months!

Then they can think through what they have learnt from all this useage!

BUT it doesn't sell any more.. This new one will! Farmers have JCB's that can through a hedge, wall or almost anything they want something a bit nicer that can do the business if needed? if i had the cash I would snap this defender up it looks good

Land Rover need to replace the Defender due to new legislation, not sales. The other aspect of this is that it is difficult to automate the construction of the existing design which keeps manufacturing costs high. So they might as well sort out the design on both fronts while they are at it.

The issue with this concept is that if you want a capable and stylish off-roader then buy a Discovery. The market place for the Defender is customers who want a capable and functional off-roader. By compromising functionality to add style Land Rover are in danger of going into competition with themselves pitting the Defender against the Discovery. The choice for the customer becomes about which styling they prefer.

Let the styling follow function.

old Defender is not reaching it's potential

Land Rover
creating 1,500 new jobs at Halewood and providing £2 billion of work to UK component manufacturers including Walsall Pressings, Sertec in Birmingham and Coventry firm Kautex Unipart.

Jaguar Land Rover already employs nearly 14,000 at its five West Midland plants in Solihull, Castle Bromwich, Gaydon, Whitley and Coventry and further sales are likely to mean more jobs, both at JLR and at its supplier companies.

It is also aiming to expand its sales in Asia, building on growing numbers in China — where sales almost doubled to 26,000 last year — and India

It is fantastic news [AE September Special Issue 1,181] that Land Rover is to keep the legendary Defender alive! It is no less than brave of the firm to create and build an entirely new machine to replace a vehicle with a pedigree spanning seven decades. And the official DC100 pictures suggest a loyalty to the iconic design by mixing tough angles and a purposeful, go anywhere stance, with 21st Century build and technology. WIth one important exception! The Land Rover Defender and all of its ancestors have had a flat nose with a 90 degree drop from the bonnet. A sloping Evoque-ess face is a bit like giving Martin Johnson a Gemma Arterton look nose job. Wrong!

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/n...

It is fantastic news [AE September Special Issue 1,181] that Land Rover is to keep the legendary Defender alive! It is no less than brave of the firm to create and build an entirely new machine to replace a vehicle with a pedigree spanning seven decades. And the official DC100 pictures suggest a loyalty to the iconic design by mixing tough angles and a purposeful, go anywhere stance, with 21st Century build and technology. WIth one important exception! The Land Rover Defender and all of its ancestors have had a flat nose with a 90 degree drop from the bonnet. A sloping Evoque-ess face is a bit like giving Martin Johnson a Gemma Arterton look nose job. Wrong!

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/n...

I might slide off that roof whilst chainsawing my hedge, tree limbs or other high access jobs !

Definately has been inspired by the Skodas Yeti with a touch of butch lip from the Japanese makers; the looks were'nt the problem, reliability was. Will that change?

Whats the betting the new Defender will have build quality as good as Evoque .. Evoque is a huge statement of intent by land rover... A quest started by Ford to radically up the company's build quality!... Not so long ago Skoda had build quality equal to a Lada or Moskovitch.. skoda rapid..lool!... Times change!

Looks like it should go down well in the US market, oh and the second division football player's wife market. Doesn't look too work like.

This is exactly what I hoped wouldn't happen. Yet another Land Rover that looks like a child's toy. Seriously, how are you supposed to drive power take off's from that? They shouldn't have moved on from leaf springs!

This is a hideous looking piece of junk that looks like it's been designed by the guys at Pimp My Ride and aimed at the drug pushers of East LA. Looks like I'll have to keep my Defender 110 on the road until the day I die. On a serious note I do feel that the people at Land Rover have completely lost their brand identity with this vehicle. The majority of Discovery and Range Rover owners, whether they admit it or not, like the fact that their machines come form the same company that produced the Defender - the best 4x4 of it's kind in the world. I can really see your average British farmer driving his sheep to market in the back of one of these - not! Another Great British icon bites the dust.

Where do I fit my break down crane and vehicle lifting gear, not to mention my 50cal and array of gpmg's

This is a disaster. This vehicle will not work in Africa. I work for a Safari company running over 300 Defenders, we can't replace them with this thing. Too expensive, too shiny, too hard to repair in the middle of nowhere a complete and utter abandonment of the market. Disgusted. They already have 4 models for yuppies, what about people who need good solid, basic machines to do a job? I can see my Puma is going to have to last a very very long time.

superb!

it's still just a concept though 3 years before we will know what it really is going to look like but i like it!
All round head lamps and a black top not white and I would spend my cash!

Reinvention of a classic design:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

I live in the middle east, and the FJ is as close as you will get to a classic in this region. Even today the J series lives on as a pickup with the prefix of Land Cruiser. What some of the traditionalists are missing is the fact the vehicles that you associated with the term utilitarian, basic, work horse etc are synonymous with being cheap to produce.

Land Rover can no longer afford to produce a cheap vehicle in the UK. The world has evolved since the 1940’s and unit cost rates in the UK mean that they have a utilitarian product at a premium price.

Annual sales of 20,000 units are indicative that this is a niche product. (Her majesties armed services and the UN can only buy so many!). The only way this can become a mass product is to move production to an economy where the unit cost rates will be lower. (Cue; traditionalist heard to tutter with disapproval).

EU regulation mean that major change has to occur in the design ( Cue; traditionalist heard to tutter with disapproval yet again). So LR are dammed if they do - make a change. Dammed if they don’t - let the Defender brand die.

What the D100 will hopefully do is to provide a platform that will enable the market segmentation to be spread. With the removal of the 110 + sizes, this would mean that a 90 sized type chassis will give economies of scale and thus able to accommodate cost efficient variations be this traditional cab or bling-on-wheels.

I buy Defenders because they tows anything, I can lob tools and bricks in the back and the odd knock or ten doesn't look out of place - plus the panels all bolt on in the event of a bad knock..

I hope that this is a design exercise otherwise will probably move to a Toyota pick up, or similar. This, as shown will not stand up to hard work and still look good.

But....with design amendments, dump the daft alloys, make the side panels flat (and bolt on), keep the arches but as plastic extensions, modify the front & rear valance to suit revised arches and to take the knocks and have a load bed at least as long (and flat) as the 90, a hose-out interior then I could be very, very interested.

Without the changes, just another soft Chelsea tractor and with 4 aready, does JLR need another?

HaHaHa. you have to laugh i guess. looks like the good old time served landrover is heading in the same direction as the mini did. do we have left in Britain that you can just step back from, take an admiring look at and feel proud?
Come on landrover, what are you playing at? Do you not think there are enough tacky looking bits of junk on the road for the beautiful people to haul themselves around in?
I've owned many landrovers over the years and i'd sooner see the brand disappear completely than have that as a replacement.

plastic crap - based on 4x4 mini one thing i presume..............

Land rover are pumping huge amount of cash into it's design and still years away from going on sale.. I love this concept Ok it needs a bit more tweaking but it has huge potential and a much bigger potential market than the old defender... Not a disastor at all it's a great platform to build on

I have been working on Landrover since the age of 19 - I am now 52 yrs of age. The vehicle started off with no power - then they achieved the power but forgot about the seat space. Tall people cannot get into it. Which other vehicle has halfshafts that need replacing every 20,000Km? On the latest vehicles the diffs are failing. If management looked into these small problems the vehicles would sell much better. Perhaps management do not care and think vehicle sales are adequate? Talk to a safari operator or farmer - they will tell you what is needed!

Should change the name to range rover defender.. A land rover is has function this doesn't!

What's needed is Toyota!

UTTER RUBBISH.. Land rover is getting too quirky, please stay with practicality ..

Tonka Toys are us!!!!!!?

prove of the pudding is in the eating? it looks like it's well poised and sitting on a great chassis. New Defender will for sure get one of JLR's new engines... as long as the money has gone into it's chassis and under the skin design how they dress it isn't a problem ...JUST please lose the evoque inspired head lamps I hate them on a Defender ... and no frilly bits!!!! Land Rover's biggest problem will be building enough of them

I do hope Skoda sue you for stealing the Yeti prototype from 2006.

this is total rubbish, McGovern should be sacked if he's approved this to go into production, the company will loose a lot of customers and money, and also put jobs at risk !!!!

Fantastic, best improvement for years. All the benefits of the 90 and110 but without the agricultural nostalgia. We'll done LR. Forward and forever inspiring

Auto Express 1,343
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links