The Land Rover Defender concept is set to make its debut at the 2011 Franfurt auto show next month as Land Rover decides whether the vehicle will be produced or dropped. With ever tightening emission requirements and a need to broaden market appeal, it may be difficult to produce a new Defender.
Land Rover and Indian-owner Tata understand that the Defender is an iconic member of the family but the vehicle is at a crossroads in its life cycle. The current defender meets emissions standards through 2016, but Colin Green, managing director of Land Rover UK, said that building a new Defender will be a tough act to follow. “If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons, and in that sense it’s a tremendous responsibility.” Land Rover would need to sell between 60,000 to 80,000 units annually to meet target sales and to be worth while. Regardless of the final decisions, the concept will be present at the show. Land Rover will most likely gauge how effective the model is and whether it garners any popularity.
Gallery: Land Rover Defender