Wednesday 8 September 2010

Land Rover having problems with Defender replacement

Land Rover “knows what the new Defender should be”, according to a well-placed source, but Land Rover is still working out how it will be engineered and put into production.

The next Defender, internally known as “Project Icon”, will axe most of its commercial variants and will allow military sales to slow. Land Rover has begun work on the 62 year old replacement since March this year.

Tata Motors has signed off funds for a full engineering and design programme for the Defender and the project has therefore been granted a place in Land Rover’s product cycle and is due to be launch in 2014.

Land Rover executives have acknowledged that the brand needs a better clarity and some customers find the current model line-up puzzling.

The newcomer could possibly ditch its current nameplate, looks and values. The Defender had previously been rumoured to underpin by the T5 steel platform chassis. Although capable, Land Rover feels it will be too heavy.

Land Rover’s Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) technology could make production in Project Icon to help improve economy and reduce emissions.

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