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.”