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by Jay Traugott
Replacing the long-serving Defender will be no easy task, but Land Rover is working away at it to bring the DC100 concept to production - and to the US.
Land Rover has made no secret of its desire to launch an all-new global Defender, this one made to suit 21st century buyers and their 4x4 needs. Not only will the reborn classic need to look the part but also be available in various body styles for different markets and individual tastes. The current Defender has been offered in hard- and soft-top versions, with three doors or five, wagon and pickup and more. The latest word is that JLR wants it to do the same for the Land Rover brand that the Evoque has for Range Rover.
As Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern stated to British publication Autocar, "The concept got the thumbs-up and 90 percent of the 250,000 people we spoke to loved it." McGovern added that design work for the production version is well underway and the vehicle should be ready to launch in "the middle of the decade." The biggest challenge, however, is for it to blend the classic styling and functionality of the beloved original into something that's also appealing to a younger generation of buyers. In other words, it has to look good, but not at the expense of the Defender's legendary functionality.