Land Rover May Get Its Roots Back

The Land Rover Defender has been around in something like its present form since 1944. Like the Jeep, it evolved from a successful military light truck in World War II, and the Defender got its own badge in 1948. A good history is here, and the Brits have loved that beast forever.

It’s probably the best off-roader in the world, certainly an icon. In the past, the car had its problems getting certified in the U.S., and the company finally moved upmarket to its Discovery and Range Rover models.

Now, with Tata calling the shots, LR has come forward with a concept redesign for the Defender, called the DC100 (above), a far cry from the utilitarian, in-your-face, bone-rattling Defenders of the past.

It was time for a new Defender, even though anyone who had or drove one of the old Defender 90s (see right) or One-Tens won’t forget how much fun they were. The new concept has the right look, we think. Whether it has more than that we’ll find out in four years.

Andrew Bornhop of Road & Track put it well:

The DC100 must be more than a styling exercise; it must capture the spirit and off-road capabilities of the Defender 90 for it to be a success.

It will be shown in Frankfurt, with a live stream press conference on September 13. U.S. availability is not planned, but since production won’t begin until 2015, one must remain hopeful. No more details at this point, just some blah-blah from the company’s design and marketing folks.

Land Rover has moved into Evoque-styled cars, which indeed are selling despite all my criticism. The Range Rover cachet is strong still. The Discovery is gone, thank God, and maybe now the company will return to its roots, or at least serve those buyers who are true off-roaders.

Do you like the appearance of the DC100? Unleash your thoughts in a comment.


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  1. I’m not sure if there is a future for vehicles like this. They’re trying to compete in a very crowded field, with many vehicles that are much better no matter which way they want to go– 4wd utility (BMW) luxury (Range Rover) performance (porsche). It’s never nice to see a brand go under, but that’s life, and Tata’s habit of buying has-beens and underdogs has to backfire sooner or later.

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