Land Rover Defender could make a US comeback
The iconic Defender could make a surprise return to showrooms in North America by 2018 after going out production in the UK this year, with whispers that a reworked version of the original SUV may be offered in time for its 70th anniversary. Despite the fact that European emission standards were too stringent for the Defender, it could soon be back in a range of different body styles.
The North American market for cars such as the Defender is huge. If Jaguar Land Rover's plans go ahead then Americans will have a choice of body styles, including:
- Short wheelbase two-door with either a metal roof or a soft top.
- Long wheelbase four-door with a metal roof.
- Two pickup variants.
The current Defender's ladder frame will be changed to two sub-frames bolted to a light but rigid chassis. The new Defender will still be every bit as capable of going off-road thanks to its live-axle set-up.
The 2018 Defender will get its power from JLR's Ingenium engines, with a choice of 150hp or 180hp 2.0-litre turbo-diesel or 180hp or 240hp 2.0-litre turbo-four petrol. The current V8 will be replaced by a 300hp V6 3.00-litre engine. Buyers will also be able to choose their transmission, with a choice of nine-speed automatic or six-speed manual throughout the range.
The next generation will be the 2019 Land Rover Defender and it is more than likely to be in American showrooms before anywhere else.