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James Bond hasn’t graced the silver screen in a while but details for the upcoming movie, Skyfall, are trickling out.
Naomi Harris’s character, Eve will drive the Defender. “We are really going to test that car, do things it’s not normally designed for… the Defender is going to work very, very hard,” said Andrew Noakes. That’s saying something considering the Defender is meant to be a take-all-comers SUV.
This won’t be the first time the Defender model has made an appearance in a 007 film. Back in The Living Daylights, the rugged SUV drove off the Rock of Gibraltar.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is apparently supplying almost 70 vehicles to the production company for the film, including the XJ model which is also expected to be featured in the movie. We’re just glad Bond will be firmly seated in British autos. After all, putting the world’s most famous English spy in anything else would be like asking Boe and Luke Duke to drive a Toyota pickup.
[Source: Motor Authority]
First unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Land Rover has announced it will showcase both the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this week. More than just a regional unveiling, this announcement is an indication by Land Rover that it is looking to offer the next-generation Defender (which the concepts were created to inspire) in North America.
“The Defender has always been at the heart of the Land Rover Brand and single-handedly defines our go-anywhere, can-do sprit. Our ambition is to create an all new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithfully to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable. At the same time, it will be developed for the 21st century and adaptable for the needs of future generations,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.
“Our intention is to introduce the all new Defender in the middle of the decade – there’s a lot of work to do to meet these dates and our concepts are just the start of the journey. We are here in LA to showcase our DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts and start to actively explore the possibility of bringing the future Defender to North America.”
Of note, Land Rover describes the DC100 Sport as “bursting with California cool,” while also commenting that both concepts have been designed with hybrid versions in mind – ideal for North America. The unique hybrid system includes a “Driveline Disconnect” system that physically (not electronically) disconnected the rear axle to significantly improve fuel economy.
GALLERY: Land Rover DC100 Sport
GALLERY: Land Rover DC100
Fans of the Land Rover Defender worried about the iconic off-roader’s impending demise should feel at ease, because the Defender has a long life ahead of it, with production scheduled until 2017.
While a new, more civilized Defender, will bow in 2015, the current vehicle will remain in production until 2017, and possibly as long as 2020. Changes in emissions and safety legislation that would have rendered the Defender unfit for sale have been ammended, or exemptions have been granted for the vehicle.
The Defender was also re-classified as a commercial vehicle a number of years ago, and reports suggest that this should help further safeguard the vehicle’s future in the European marketplace.
Fans of the Land Rover Defender have long feared the vehicle’s demise amid intensifying regulations and waning interest in off-road vehicles, but Land Rover isn’t giving up on their iconic product.
A report in a British magazine suggests that an all-new Defender will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, using the same underpinnings as Land Rover’s capable LR4 SUV. A new range of in-house 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines will be employed, as well as Land Rover’s Terrain Management System, which can adjust the entire driveline to cope with various off-road situations.
[Source: Auto Express]
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
Not yet, but it might be, says the company’s boss Colin Green, as he looks at possible future scenarios for the iconic off-roader. Although it hasn’t been sold here officially for many years, the Defender remains popular in other parts of the world, particularly with farmers, rescue workers and utilities, as well as the British military.
However, with ever tightening emission requirements and a need to broaden market appeal, Green says the current 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.”
As a result, the company is weighing in the possibility of discontinuing it’s most legendary product. “It’s our least preferred choice,” says Green, “because we have serviced that customer base for a long time, but there’s no point in servicing the customer and not the business. We have to make money.”
Other options currently being discussed include an update of the current model using Euro VI engines, or introducing a re-designed version with broader appeal, likely based on the LR4 chassis.
[Source: Auto Express]
Land Rover South Africa has taken the brand’s iconic Defender off-roader and converted one to run on fully electric power, with an 80 horsepower motor good for 63 miles of silent, emissions free driving at speeds of up to 37 mph. The Defender EV also retains a full four-wheel drive system despite its electric drivetrain.
While these numbers may not be too impressive in the real world, this Defender is meant expressly for use in Safaris, and Land Rover claims that the vehicle’s range is sufficient for 8 hours of driving in these types of conditions. The Defender EV is expected to debut at the Indaba festival in Durban, South Africa this month.
[Source: Auto Express]
It’s been around in current form since 1983, but the rugged go-anywhere Land Rover Defender can trace its lineage directly back to the first one the company ever built in 1948. Beloved of the British military, farmers, ranchers and explorers the world over, it’s a true icon.
However, there are now rumors circulating that Jaguar Land Rover plans to give the old warrior a serious makeover. No details have been released, or even leaked, though apparently the JLR group is intensively studying what needs to be done before proceeding with development on the ‘next-generation,’ Defender.
Hopefully whatever is decided, the result will stay true to the vehicle’s rugged, practical persona, with short and long wheelbase variants being retained as well as retaining a chassis highly adaptable for different needs (a part of the current model’s enduring appeal).
A concept study is likely to emerge sometime around 2013, with the projected introduction of the actual ‘new’ Defender to follow a couple of years later. In the meantime, if you happen to live outside North America, you can still get your hands on a current Defender and take it places like this.