TMR Team | Dec 24, 2012

Land Rover's next-generation Defender, due sometime in 2015, will attempt to recreate the legendary reputation of its 60 year-old forebear.

Design boss Jerry McGovern told British magazine Autocar this week that the new model, teased by the DC100 concepts last year, will "capture the essence of the past, in a modern way".

McGovern added that while the DC100 offered an early look at the company's plans, a number of new concepts have been developed in the months since.

Whatever design the carmaker settles on, don't expect it to look too much like its venerable predecessor.

“A like-for-like replacement for the Defender would not be appropriate and wouldn’t be legal with safety legislation”, McGovern said.

Instead, expect a formidable but comfortable off-roader targeted at a new generation of buyers: "it has to be relevant and desirable to a modern audience," he said.

Many of the qualities that made that the original Defender a favourite among bush-bashing enthusiasts will still be on-board, however.

“It has to have the essence of the Defender. James Bond needs to be able to kick the hell out of it and it will still be able to get up for more.”

Broadening its market will help the Defender move more units, with simplified production leading to greater affordability.

In most markets, that will help the Defender take on that other 4x4 giant: Toyota.

The Japanese carmaker shifted almost 550,000 'pickups' in the US last year (including what we call the HiLux), and the new Defender is aimed squarely at that part of the market.

The old Defender will quietly slide away in 2015, just in time for the new species to arrive and take over.

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