The Defender is one of the more iconic brands in the Land Rover garage, being first designed on the sand at a beach in the UK when Maurice Wilks wanted to explain to his brother what he wanted to build. Over the years the Defender has earned a reputation for being the most endearing and unstoppable machine in the Land Rovers portfolio. The next-gen model, which according to reports in Autocar has been dubbed the L663, will be revealed towards the end of Land Rover’s 70th-anniversary celebration. And this will be the new Defender and no half-baked concept. Interestingly, the report also indicates that the Land Rover Defender will be launched in two wheelbase options 2,286mm and 2,794mm and two distinct body styles, a hardtop and a soft-top. Although expecting a canvas roof liner might be an overkill.
The new Defender will be based on the common platform being shared by the JLR family, but it will be a toughened and strengthened version of the D7u motor used on the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery. What this probably indicates is the fact that this is likely to inspire a line of petrol and diesel engines from JLRs new Ingenium family of motors. Obviously, this also means expecting the new Range Rover to retain the standard boxy design of the original defender, the designers will try to keep the theme alive much like the new G-Wagen which is also set to launch next year. It will have a full and updated suite of off-road technology based on the Terrain Response II system that surpasses the tech offered on the new Discovery model introduced this year.
However, it is also likely that the Defender will also get the best off-roading capabilities in the Land Rover Range, which is exactly what you would want from a big Defender. The new Defender to be designed and engineered to have the kind of ground clearance and approach, departure and break-over angles that will give it class-leading off-road performance and agility. The Defender is likely to break cover at the Detroit motor show next year after which it will probably make it way to in 2019-20 along with the new-gen G-Wagen.