2019 Land Rover Defender Confirmed; Best Off-Roader In Years?

Oct 03, 2016 05:51 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

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Development of the new Land Rover Discovery is in an advanced stage so now prototypes of the same are undergoing tests, Autocar reported.

As is already known, the famed British marque that has become synonymous with extreme off-road driving is back and the first new generation Model Year 2019 Defender is expected to be ready by 2018. Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr. Ralf Speth also confirmed to Autocar he has personally driven a Defender prototype.

Details are scarce at the moment though what is known is that the new gen Defender would be based on the PLA or Premium Lightweight Architecture made essentially of aluminium. The same already underpins the 2017 Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.

However, that's all that the Discovery will have in common with its stable mates as its components will still be widely different from the others.

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

Speth also stated it is a challenge for them to come up with the new Defender and still make money out of it. That has to do with the relatively low volumes that the off-roader is slated to make for while still infusing enough individuality with the vehicle.

Further, there is no way its makers can compromise on the niche attribute of the SUV, that of hard-core off-roading capability and over-all reliability. The first gen Defender had a distinct fan following of its own and it remains to be seen if the new Defender can connect to them.

Meanwhile, production of the new Defender is likely to be carried out in the company's Solihull plant though other options such as off-shore production to cut costs can't be ruled out either.

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