It's unclear what the next-generation Land Rover Defender will bring when it finally arrives—Land Rover says it's "not far away"—but we do know the brand is absolutely committed to retaining its off-road appeal. Whatever go-anywhere capability it may have, Land Rover is reportedly mulling an even more hardcore Defender SVX.
According to Autocar, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern believes the “ultimate capability machine will be Defender,” and the new badge previewed with the Discovery nameplate would "arguably" be right at home on the Defender. In the meantime, the production version of the Discovery SVX will fill a void left by the outgoing Defender. The rugged SUV exited production early last year.
Land Rover Discovery SVX concept, 2017 Frankfurt auto show
What is "SVX?" It's the badge affixed on no-frills off-roaders by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. Most recently, the Land Rover Discovery SVX concept showed what the SVX badge represents, and it's all good things. Although it's a concept, Land Rover will bring a very similar vehicle to production in 2018.
It's hard to imagine what a Defender SVX could embody since specifics on the new SUV are unknown, but the Special Vehicles Operations worked the Discovery over pretty extensively. We'd expect a similar process for a proposed Defender SVX. The Discovery SVX concept features such off-road goodies as a hydraulic anti-roll system, a specially tuned version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 off-road driving modes selector, and 20-inch wheels fitted with 275/55 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires. Under the hood it gets a familiar supercharged 5.0-liter V-8.
Not only will the SVX denote the most extreme off-road capability, but it will bring a premium edge as well, or what McGovern called "premium durability." We may even see an electrified Defender variant crop up, too.
For now, only Land Rover knows the Defender's destiny.