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Tata To Build Next Land Rover Defender In India: Report


The replacement for the Land Rover Defender isn’t due until mid-decade, but there’s already speculation on where the U.S.-bound next-generation, go-anywhere SUV will be bolted together.

If the next Defender is to be the same global success as its predecessor, Land Rover knows it needs to keep the price as low as possible and emphasize sales in the Asia-Pacific region (specifically, China).

Autocar is reporting that Land Rover’s parent, Tata Motors, will address both issues by building the next Defender in Pune, India. Europe-bound models may be shipped back to the U.K. for final assembly, while models destined for Asian customers could be shipped directly to dealers.

There’s already a precedence for Tata building Land Rover vehicles, as the Indian auto giant builds Freelanders in Pune for distribution within Asia. What isn’t clear is whether or not Pune will be the only point of assembly for the new Defender.

John Edwards, Land Rover’s global brand director, has already confirmed a U.S. version of the Defender. Final styling is said to be very close to the DC100 concepts shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show, although its likely that the wheels, grille and lighting will differ in production form.

The interior will change as well, since the show cars’ futuristic version would be difficult (and expensive) to put into production. Land Rover has also decided to go with a body-on-frame construction, likely built from the T5 ladder chassis currently used on the Discovery and the Range Rover Sport.

We were fans of the old Defender, for off-road use anyway, so we can’t wait to test the capabilities of the next generation model. If Land Rover can improve the on-road ride without sacrificing off-road capability, we’ll call the new Defender a hit, regardless of where it’s built.
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Comments (7)
  1. Gone is the high seating position and low window sills which gave great visability off road. Gone is the tall cargo area which easily could carry mountain bikes upright without tearing them down which no other SUV could do. Gone is the bomb proof mechanical diesels that would go anywhere without complaint and gone is the iconic styling that was functional beyond anything else. If produced in the form shown, the DC100 is an embarassement to the Defender lineage and the final chapter in abandoning the enthusiasts who made Land Rover the icon they are today as this was the very last most capable SUV on the planet. Thanks Tata for killing a brand...Thank God Solihull built hundreds of thousands of the real Defenders!!!
     
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  2. @Chuck, I'm not sold on the DC100's "cute ute" styling either, but I'll reserve judgement until I have a chance to drive one off-road.
     
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  3. sort of how the FJ cruiser is using the iconic name of the original go everywhere vehicle that actually put Toyota on the map in Australia and alot of other places. This looks good, i dont mind the styling for what it is. An urban run about that hankers for the urban dollar. That i dont have any problem with whatsover, in fact i wouldnt even mind buying one. But to use the name DEFENDER is a cop out. Create a new name, a sub Evoque brand name or even make it the next Freelander
     
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  4. @WizardsLore, as you point out, it's the name that draws buyers into showrooms. I agree that I'd rather see this as a new model than as a replacement for the iconic Defender.

    As for the FJ Cruiser, I actually own one, but not for the retro looks. It is astoundingly good off-road, even in stock form.
     
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  5. @ Kurt, if its the name then why not use something as ridiculously simple as DEFENDER SPORT. it will maintain the iconic name of the go anywhere truck that put LR on the map, whilst also aiming itself a the demographic that would buy into it, with the SPORT monikor. Look at how the RR SPORT has transformed the fortunes of the brand. Without it, they would be struggling.
    Feel free to impart my suggestion onto the boffins at LR and i will look forward to the royalties.

    as for the FJ, yes you mentioned that. i wouldnt mind a test drive, the missus likes them and i dont mind them either. maybe it will become our second car for weekend trips, camping etc.
    Where you affeced by the FJ recall toyota sent out?
     
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  6. @WizardsLore, sadly, I don't even have a current contact at LR to pass your suggestion along to. Besides, it's far too logical - they'd never go for it.

    As for FJ recalls, the only one I'm aware of was related to the TPMS. My 2008 has the bash-them-back-into-shape-with-a-hammer steel wheels, and wasn't part of the recall.
     
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  7. @ Kurt, we need to source that contact number. We can ensure that LR / Tata dont go and make a faux par by calling this new model a straight up "Defender". And logic shoudl be shared haha

    FJ recalls i found in the recalls section of the family car guide found in the table at the bottom of this page
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