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Next-Gen Land Rover Defender Due In 2013

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Few, if any, automotive icons have as wide and as immediate a recognition factor as the Land Rover Defender. Spanning the globe and over six decades of production, the classic boxy go-anywhere-mobile is finally due for an update, and according to previous reports, it's already underway, appropriately dubbed Project Icon. Now it looks like the due date for the brand-new Defender will be 2013.

The Land Rover team is hard and secretly at work on the project despite the somewhat distant deadline, aiming to update the classic Defender with modern design principles while keeping its simple, brutally efficient capability intact. Unlike most of its current stablemates, the new Project Icon vehicle is expected to eschew aluminum for a dependable and rugged steel chassis borrowed from the soon-to-be-replaced Discovery and Range Rover Sport models, reports Autocar. The news of the 2013 due date comes from a report out today by the Detroit Free Press.

Like its predecessor, the Project Icon truck will be made in myriad form factors to suit the mission, and though initially built only in England, there are thought to be plans to send it to China, Russia, India and elsewhere in knock-down form for final assembly down the road.

Upgrading the Defender to the T5 chassis will mean independent suspension, hard or soft tops and a choice of steel or air springs depending on the application. Power will most likely come from the company's existing lineup of four- and six-cylinder diesels.

Americans, however, aren't likely to see the new vehicle, just as we haven't seen the Defender since their last brief stint here in the mid-1990s.

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Comments (7)
  1. I love the Defender (I wish they'd bring it back). I hope it doesn't lose its simplistic, boxy character. (Mercedes made a big mistake when they replaced the G-wagen with the ugly, bland GL.)
     
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  2. erm, the g wagen is still for sale in many markets, you can even get an AMG and brabus v12(!) version, still with live axles
     
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  3. I know Autocar is claiming that the replacement Defender will be fully independent suspension, but I wonder if that will satisfy the D's market. Even with there electronic gizmos the Rangie and Disco III do not exceed the Defender in off road capability.
     
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  4. Thanks for this Nelson. I am very excited to see what the boys over at Land Rover come up with for this release. What is there to say about the Defender. Personally a huge fan and it seems as though i might not be the only one thinking that. It recently won a top vehicle award. Readers of What Car? magazine voted the Defender their favourite car. http://bit.ly/4jZqvw
    Will be interesting to see the new version of the Defender once released in 2013.
     
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  5. Really? Because I remember it being removed from US showrooms because it does not have air-bags which are a requirement for sale in the US.
     
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  6. Im a brazilian fan of land rover.i had a x-terra and i liked so much,but my dream now is the new defender.i would like to know how expensive will be this
     
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  7. I wish Land Rover does bring the Defender to the states! They have to!!!
     
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