Jaguar Land Rover is rumoured by Autocar to be bringing a concept replacement for the Defender to the Frankfurt motor show in September.
The task of replacing the car that can trace it’s roots back to Land Rover’s first model is not an easy one, hence the programme getting the name ‘Project Icon’ internally. Hardest is going to be making such a vehicle profitable, as the new Defender will need to achieve sales figures if 80,000 units annually to be viable, reports Autocar. The current model sold 18,000 last year.
Still, by possibly reusing the ladder frame chassis from the Discovery and a new range of cheapeengines developed with JLR parent Tata — as opposed to bought in from Ford as the current Defender engine is — it’s possible to make the project viable, even if the Land Rover badge may have to end up commanding a premium price.
As for looks, we don’t know. Our image shows a rendered speculation, but JLR are accepting that they won’t be able to please everyone with the looks of the new vehicle. Expect answers on 13th September.