Off-road enthusiasts may remember the Land Rover Defender 90 for its rugged, utilitarian design and go-anywhere capability. Now, Land Rover is reintroducing the Defender name for an all-new concept that’s set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Although the Defender is still a concept that’s slated for production in 2015, Land Rover says that they will take steps to make sure that the new SUV has broad consumer appeal. "We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalize the details of the new vehicle,” says John Edwards, Land Rover’s global brand director, in a press release. “One thing's for sure, it's going to be an exciting journey, and we can't wait to get going."
As the SUV market has evolved from utilitarian, truck-based models to refined crossovers, some members of the automotive press wonder how true the 2015 Defender will stay to its heritage. “One of the key questions the company must answer is whether the new Defender is a simple off-road tool for the developing world in the spirit of the original Land Rover, or whether it's a fashion-conscious toy for the affluent,” says Edmunds. “The recent decision to distinguish the more utilitarian Land Rover family from the more opulent Range Rover lineup could be a clue to the Defender's likely path.”
Additionally, Land Rover has yet to confirm U.S. availability. “Land Rover confirmed the arrival timeline, but not whether the vehicle will come to North America,” writes Autoweek. “The car was discontinued in the United States in 1997.”
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