The popularity of the new Defender has even surprised the top echelons at Land Rover. With people scrambling to get their hands on the new model, the company has ramped up production and now putting out 50% more numbers than what it had planned to manufacture originally. Clearly, the idea of reinventing the old workhorse has paid and paid quite well.
Defender is a unique model in terms of its appeal and fanbase and with its outrightly boxy proportions, the company offers it in three different body length models: 90, 110 and 130 models. In fact, Land Rover is quite enthusiastic about expanding the range of Defender and offering it beyond these three models.
An all-electric variant of the Defender is also on the cards and the SUV is already available in the overseas market in its PHEV avatars with a 43 km range available in pure electric mode. However, it will be interesting to know whether the D7x platform of the Defender will be able to accommodate the large battery back required for offering a decent range in pure electric version of the SUV. The company might utilize the services of the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform which has been designed keeping the requirements of electric models in mind.
Along with the competition from the likes of Mercedes, Jeep and other American brands who are going full throttle on electric vehicles, JLR is also gravitating towards an electric version in the wake of ever-tightening emission norms. Undoubtedly electrification is a key to sustainable mobility and for a company like Land Rover which makes only SUVs, there is no other way than to go electric in the future.
Smaller Defender aims to take the appeal of its family a step forward and the downward move in terms of Defender 70 is currently under evaluation. The same strategy of reducing the size and dimensions has worked exceptionally well for the Evoque and Discovery Sport and the same results are expected for the new Defender. The only challenge here is to weave the same kind of practicality and off-road credentials into a new model although that has to be done within the constraints of considerably short dimensions. The company might use the premium transverse architecture (PTA) platform for underpinning the new Defender as it supports both the ICE engine and PHEV powertrain architecture. That said, the electric version of the Defender is likely to be based on electrified model architecture (EMA) that the company has conceived for spawning the next-generation Velar and Evoque.