Land Rover is reinventing one of its most iconic models and plotting its return to the U.S.
Arriving in time for the Defender’s 70th anniversary in 2018, the British automaker will recreate its legendary SUV for the first time since 1948. According to a report from Automobile, the Land Rover Defender range will become a go-anywhere luxury model with tough styling that will be offered in at least five body types including a two-door, short-wheelbase model featuring a metal top or soft top while a four-door, long wheelbase will be available only with a metal top. The company will also add a two-door pickup with a short wheelbase and a four-door pickup with a long wheelbase.
Engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s new Ingenium family including a pair of 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engines with either 150 or 180 hp will provide power. Gasoline engines will also be of the 2.0-liter variety with outputs of 180 and 240 hp. A range-topping 3.0-liter V6 with 300 hp will replace the aging V8 and all engines will be offered with either a six-speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic.
The Defender will continue to have plenty of off-road capability courtesy of a live-axle setup, but it won’t use a ladder frame anymore. Engineers will instead incorporate two subframes to a light, rigid unibody. The automaker expects to sell around 30,000 Defenders annually when it arrives for the 2019 model year.
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