Original Land Rover Defender and DC100 conceptEnlarge Photo
Land Rover’s plans to replace its iconic Defender after close to three decades have hit a roadblock, with news coming out this week that development of a successor has been delayed.
Land Rover first previewed its next-generation Defender with its DC100 concept in 2011 and shortly after confirmed that a production version would arrive in 2015.
Around the same time, reports emerged claiming Land Rover was planning a whole range of Defender variants including a low-cost version to serve as the British brand’s point of entry in the U.S. market.
Now, Land Rover global brand director John Edwards has revealed to Autocar that the new Defender won’t be ready by 2015. The existing Defender, however, will still be phased out in 2015 due to tougher emissions regulations coming into play.
Edwards didn’t reveal why the new Defender was being delayed, though it’s thought that a switch to Land Rover’s PLA aluminum platform found in upmarket Range Rover models is the likely cause. This means that the new Defender will likely remain a premium product and keep its off-road prowess.
The DC100 concept had its own bespoke platform, though one derived from that used in the Range Rover Evoque and LR2 models.
Going premium also means that the new Defender could be built profitably in the UK instead of having to be sourced from low-cost countries such as India, which was being considered.
Stay tuned for an update.