With the rebirth of the Land Rover Defender in the works, it is being reported a pickup truck will be spawned alongside the new SUV.
The new Land Rover unit will be a pickup version of the upcoming unibody Defender, not unlike how VW crafted the Tanoak Concept out of its Atlas SUV. The new Defender will be unveiled later this year as part of the company’s 70th-anniversary celebrations.
Speculation from Autocar goes on to say the Defender pickup, should it appear, will be a regular-cab only affair, further cementing its place as more of a workhorse than its competitors who don’t care to get their shoes dirty. The brand itself, of course, holds a lot of cachet in certain circles meaning that pricing will likely be standard-fare Land Rover (read: premium) despite its apparent lack of two-row seating.
The legendary Defender has a great deal of goodwill in its badge and will probably sell many copies based on its name alone. Offering variants of the Defender makes a great deal of sense, allowing the company to cost the research and development out over several different models. Such an approach also broadens the make’s appeal to customers who may not have ever stepped foot in a Land Rover showroom. If it appears, expect it to pop up in overseas markets first, as customers on this side of the pond are definitely more receptive to the traditional, body-on-frame style of pickup.
It wouldn’t be the first machine with a cab and bed to bear the Defender name, as 90 and 110 pickup variations of the old Defender were produced when those models were in production. A crew cab reached production in the late ‘90s.
Defender mules were spotted in January, bearing a bobbed-off Range Rover Sport body and a short-wheelbase. It is expected to be a three-door unit. The company has announced that electrification will be part of each and every Land Rover by 2020, so expect to see some sort of hybrid powertrain on the new Defender.
As of now, the standard Defender SUV is supposed to be sold in the US, but whether or not a pickup truck would come to North America remains to be seen.