Land Rover's roots lie in agricultural off-roading SUVs like the Defender. But from 2017, another type of vehicle is set to join the range--a pickup truck. While the current Defender has been sold as a pickup at several points throughout its life, Land Rover's new pickup truck will be based on a new generation of the Defender expected to arrive in 2016. While the company will concentrate on selling more conventional models first, design boss Gerry McGovern has told What Car that the new pickup could appear in 2017.
Land Rover has struggled to find a way of replacing its most iconic model. Loved by its customers and the public alike, its design has remained largely the same throughout its history. Equipment tweaks and modern engines have allowed it to keep pace with emissions requirements and customer expectations, but the new model is likely to offer a considerably updated driving experience--as well as a full complement of airbags and other safety systems.
The new pickup would be aimed at slightly premium pickups like the Volkswagen Amarok sold overseas rather than more utilitarian offerings from Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and emerging Chinese brands. It would be a crew-cab, five-seat model with permanent four-wheel drive--losing none of the current Defender's off-road ability, something Land Rover's customers still value to a high degree.
The new Defender's styling is currently a mystery, though the closest indication of what it could look like can be seen in the DC100 concept revealed back in 2011. Importantly, that concept was instantly recognizable as a Defender--though Land Rover has an uphill struggle to convince existing Defender fans. It isn't clear whether the new pickup will make it to the U.S. market, but the company did confirm last year that the new Defender would be coming to the U.S.