Companies

Land Rover to unveil Defender concept in Frankfurt

Vidya Ram | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

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Land Rover will unveil the DC100, the concept car for its replacement of the iconic Defender four-by-four, at next month's Frankfurt auto show. It's the latest sign that JLR is ramping up its £5-billion investment drive across the two brands.

Production of the re-designed “Defender for the 21st century” is set for 2015, the company said as it unveiled images of the concept car for the first time.

Over the past few months, JLR, which is targeting 40 product actions in the next five years, spending £1 billion during each of those years, has released a number of new and updated vehicles.

This includes the Range Rover Evoque, which goes on sale in September, and the launch of a four-cylinder diesel version of the XF. It has also announced production dates for its C-X75, a hybrid supercar.

Heart of the brand

Analysts believe the latest announcement is one of the most significant steps it has taken to date. “The Defender is at the heart of the brand,” said Mr Tim Urquhart, an auto analyst at IHS Global Insight in London.

Though the Defender itself was launched in the 1980s, it dates back to 1948, when the original Land Rover series was launched, since when around 2 million vehicles have been sold.

“It simply has to be done in the right way encapsulating the values of the previous vehicle: being: tough, rugged and reliable and able to go everywhere,” Mr Urquhart added.

The company's description of the concept car as “functional and purposeful” suggests that this will remain key to the new design.

“Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world,” said Mr Gerry McGovern, the director of design at Land Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover has come to represent an increasingly significant part of Tata Motors: though in the quarter ending June income after tax fell by 10 per cent year-on-year to £220 million.

Published on August 31, 2011
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