Land Rover Defender To Be Replaced?
The Land Rover Defender is one of the greatest motoring icons in history but that classic, rugged shape could be set to disappear from our roads. Despite being one of the best off-road vehicles on the planet since it launched, the great Defender soldiers on today with engineering that is supremely rugged but is increasingly anachronistic in a world looking set for high-tech, electric-drive vehicles. In summary the Defender is just too expensive to run. Escalating fuel costs and extortionate car tax fees just add to the problem.
The Defender launched in 1995 but much of its styling and indeed its engineering has changed relatively little from the preceding model, which was born all the way back in 1948. Today, few people truly need the great off-road ability of the Defender and the world could probably do with the model being brought into the 21st century.
Land Rover has been busy showing off Defender concept vehicles in recent months. As slick as these styling tests have been, Defender fans have been reacting with more than a little upset.
The problem is that Land Rover realises the Defender cannot continue in its present form forever. The company is planning to replace the classic with a new model within about three years.
The biggest problem with the concepts Land Rover has offered so far is that they clearly lack anything like the rugged ability to go almost anywhere that lies behind the existing model’s continued popularity. The latest concept vehicle, called the DC100, has gone public at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany.
The company has presented two possible models, the DC100 and the DC100 Sport. The Sport would probably be considered by most farmers and other welly-wearing Defender owners as a rather laughable attempt at replacing their beloved workhorses but it could widen the vehicle’s attraction to possible buyers.
The regular DC100, too, appears to reverse the Defender’s style/utility ratio and that, apparently, doesn’t impress existing owners and fans. Let’s hope that Land Rover can work through these design exercises and find a way to combine the Defender’s excellent off-road ability with a more modern design at home in the high street.