Land Rover reveals new Defender

STEPHEN OTTLEY
Last updated 11:01 01/09/2011
Land Rover DC100 concept, a modern interpretation of the Land Rover Defender, will debut at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.
MAKEOVER: Land Rover DC100 concept, a modern interpretation of the Land Rover Defender, will debut at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.
Land Rover Defender
ICONIC: An older Land Rover Defender.

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This is the radical all-new look for the classic Land Rover Defender.

After 64 years of almost unchanged service the go-anywhere off-roader will be replaced by all-new model in 2015.

Officially still only a concept, the DC100 is designed to test the public's reaction to the new look before the final production version is signed off.

"Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide," says Land Rover design boss, Gerry McGovern.

"This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."

As reported recently the company is determined to continue the Defender but admits a complete overhaul is required to bring it into the 21st century.

Although the Defender is one of the motoring world's most famous vehicles Land Rover only sells approximately 20,000 units annually around the world.

The new model is designed to appeal to a much bigger audience as the company tries to catch up to newer off-roader rivals in the booming SUV segment.

"Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of a changing global market," says John Edwards, Land Rover's Global Brand Director.

"We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle. One thing's for sure, it's going to be an exciting journey, and we can't wait to get going."

The engineering team behind the Defender is headed by Australian ex-pat Murray Dietsch, who worked on the Ford Territory.  He confirmed that his team is working hard to ensure the Defender remains one of the most capable off-road vehicles, even though it's expected to add more car-like safety features and creature comforts.

"We've been working on Defender for a while," Dietsch said recently. "The company's pretty serious about it.

"We're working on it and we're making sure that whatever we produce in the future is not going to dilute what Defender really stands for. So it needs to be authentic."

"If someone's going to get in the car they're going to want to get in the car and do stuff with it and say ‘I don't want it to break, I want it to go places that other things won't take me to'."

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The DC100 will have its official unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show on September 13.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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