I once spent the majority of a day driving a Land Rover Defender through the desert sand dunes and rocky back country of Aruba. I came away with a newfound love for the bare-bones Defender workhorse. It wasn’t pretty, or even comfortable, but that truck went places I wouldn’t dare go with a Range Rover. Or even a Jeep Wrangler.
I’ve also spent considerable time in modern Land Rovers, basking in the glory of all the luxury and security they offer. Part of me, though, has longed for the utilitarian Rovers of the past.
It turns out Land Rover has heeded those calls and will bring us a modern descendant of the Defender.
Automotive News says,
The Defender would be priced below the Range Rover Evoque Pure, a new model for 2013 that is priced at $41,995, including shipping. It is one of several new products Land Rover and Jaguar, which are both owned by India’s Tata Motors, are developing as part of a global growth strategy.
A Land Rover priced somewhere in the 30s, and meant as an enthusiast’s off-road rock-crawling toy, just begs to go head to head with the Wrangler. It should look good, too, if the Land Rover’s DC100 concept offers a decent glimpse into the new Defender’s shape.
A new vehicle in today’s world, though, has to be more than just a niche product. In the Defender’s case, it has to be able to perform off-road like the earlier version, but be comfortable enough and safe enough for daily driving.
Land Rover Chief Designer Gerry McGovern told Autoblog last year,
This vehicle, when it comes out, will be incredibly capable… Make no doubt about that. It will be versatile, it will have real 4×4 capability, it will be a real working tool. It will be as hard as nails. It will be the real deal.
Coming from Land Rover, I have no doubt. Wrangler: Look out!
What’s your preference, Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender?