Land Rover Is Reportedly Planning a Luxurious Defender Based on the New Range Rover
The Defender is a huge hit for Land Rover. Since its introduction in 2020, the rugged retro SUV has become one of the brand's top-selling models, second only to the more affordable Range Rover Evoque in global sales numbers. According to this latest report out of the U.K., it seems the brand is preparing to capitalize on this success and expand its offerings with an entire range of Defender-badged products, including an ultra-luxurious model based on the upcoming Range Rover chassis.
U.K. publication Autocar published a report on Monday citing unnamed sources outlining Land Rover's future plans for the Defender nameplate. The report suggests Land Rover is planning to release an ultra-luxurious version of the Defender that will use the company's MLA platform, an off-roading architecture with electric propulsion in mind. From the article:
An MLA-based Defender will inevitably be more of a luxury car than today’s Slovakia-built model. It is expected to have a less rugged-style interior but distinguish itself from the forthcoming Range Rover’s. The Defender already has a near-$100,000 luxury range-topper in the form of the new V-8 version, but the larger, more sophisticated MLA underpinnings could open up the model to a wider audience, while allowing for a full-electric version to rival the inbound Mercedes-Benz EQG. However, the Range Rover and Velar are likely to be initially prioritized as EVs on the MLA platform.
Autocar expects the Defender in question to use Jaguar-Land Rover's 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six gas- and diesel-powered engines combined with hybrid and plug-in assistance. The publication also claims the vehicle will use more "unusual" materials that include naturally weathered looks and new types of wood finishes. All of this is unconfirmed at this time, so there's no way to know for sure what a Range Rover-based Defender will look like until we see official images.
Either way, we're curious to see where Land Rover will take the Defender brand going forward. Seeing how much we like the current model, we have high expectations for any subsequent variants.
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