Land Rover DefenderEnlarge Photo
When we saw the DC100 concept, a first-look at an eventual Defender replacement, 2015 was the year being cited for the inevitable replacement and end of the Defender as we know it today.
Now it looks like the Defender may live on for a couple of extra years.
Autocar reports that several Defender models, including the long-wheelbase 110 and the commercial 130 versions, will stick around the market until 2017 due to some changes in emissions and pedestrian-impact legislation, which will eliminate the need to axe the model by 2015.
The Defender models won't delay the DC100/Defender replacement from launching in 2015, but will be available alongside the new model.
In other words, if the next-gen Defender ends up looking as soft as the DC100, a hardcore Land Rover will still be available for at least two more years. Good news.
Land Rover showed the DC100 and DC100 Sport convertible at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The models are a rough first look at the direction that Land Rover is moving with its Defender successor.
While Land Rover argues that the DC100's form and African-like "vibrant ochre hues" are true to the Defender's rough-and-rugged heritage, we just can't see anything but another watered down SUV for Stepford soccer moms and yuppie types. A damn shame since the Defender is supposed to be the one Land Rover that's anything but.
On an optimistic note, Land Rover admits that the concept is just the very beginning of a long development process. There's still plenty of time (and room) for change.
Unfortunately, that change will almost certainly include eliminating the concept's automatic tire spikes that provide grip on the snow and ice.
Read all the ins and outs of the DC100 concepts in our Frankfurt coverage.