The Defender shape has remained relatively unchanged since it become the blueprint for Land Rover’s success as a manufacturer of off-road SUVs with go-anywhere ability.
However, emissions regulations and the increasingly popularity of more stylish, road-based SUVs has put the future of the famous Defender in jeopardy.
This has led Land Rover to implement one of the biggest overhauls of the Defender’s design in its history with a new Land Rover DC100 concept car.
Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover said: “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. This isn’t a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”
The new Land Rover Defender is only expected to be launched in 2015, and the concept car keeps the same general shape as the older generation.
However, it also incorporates a sloping, wrap-around windscreen reminiscent of the Range Rover Evoque, a more modern and rounded front end and striking alloy wheels.
Land Rover says the concept will only ‘point the way’ towards a new Defender and final designs could be vastly different to the concept.
The introduction of the concept however, confirms Land Rover will replace the current Defender with a new model, extending the lifespan of one of the world’s oldest 4x4s to 67 years when it finally arrives.
Land Rover has promised to meet with existing Land Rover Defender customers before finalising designs for the new model, meaning fans of the rugged off-roader will have a say in the future of the iconic name.