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New Land Rover Defender for 2015, DC100 Concept to be shown in Frankfurt

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August 30, 2011

The Land Rover DC100 is a taste of things to come for the company's iconic Defender model

The Land Rover DC100 is a taste of things to come for the company's iconic Defender model

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Adding to the long list of things to look forward to at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), Land Rover has announced that a "modern interpretation of the iconic Land Rover Defender" will be taking to the stage in the form of the DC100 Concept. The company has also made clear its intentions to bring a new Defender to market in 2015, but although the DC100 is aimed at stimulating debate about the new model, it remains a work in progress.

"Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide," says Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover. "This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."

Land Rover DC100 Concept

Anytime you start fiddling with an iconic vehicle like the Defender you are bound to polarize opinion, and this is undoubtedly going to be to be a case in point. We'd love to hear what Defender devotees out there think of this new direction - let us know in the comments.

The DC100 will be unveiled on September 13 ahead of the public opening of the IAA on September 15. Stay tuned for more details.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
22 Comments

personally speaking, my experience of the Land Rover brand is not a happy one. very expensive to maintain particularily if the vehicle has to work hard in the field. The big Nissans are a much better tool for serious work.The Defender has its followers but not for me thank you

robinyatesuk2003
30th August, 2011 @ 11:29 pm PDT

As a Huge Defender fan I am super keen to see the next incarnation. It's hard to comment on only a couple of pictures but I would like to see the windscreen more vertical and much larger profile tyres. This looks like 100" wheel base which would be interesting as long as it's still 5 seats. I also fear that indipendant suspension might be coming:( Not really the defender way. Please don't make it a slightly different Disco, we like the agricultal look and feel. But that's my two cents!

Cheers,

johnR

JohnR
31st August, 2011 @ 12:51 am PDT

Defender is all about function, but has its own iconic form.

Upgrade the capability but don't mess with the look of the thing.

Nickov8
31st August, 2011 @ 05:22 am PDT

I could see soccer moms getting in on this land rover. Such a nice size compared to the larger models.

Seriously though, it will be a travesty if that's the new defender. Defenders are supposed to be ugly and durable. There is nothing right about styling a defender like a mini Honda Element. Failure!

Jamie Estep
31st August, 2011 @ 06:20 am PDT

Sorry, looks like a Toyota. If sales are low, its only because the price is too high. Don't follow the herd in terms of styling and underpinnings..just make it easier to own one.

Muraculous
31st August, 2011 @ 07:31 am PDT

AS A FAN OF LAND ROVER I HAVE OWNED 5 OF THESE VEHICLES, AND I AM DISSAPOINTED IN THIS NEW DESIGN FOR THE DEFENDER*, IT IS EVIDENT THE GOAL OF THIS COMPANY IS NO LONGER BEING PRACTICAL WITH FUNCTION AND PERFORMANCE, BUT INSTEAD, THEIR NEW PERSUIT IS DESIGN.

IT WOULD NOT LOOK TOUGH IN AFRICA, ...... ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO.

THEY ARE DRIFTING AWAY FROM THE BEST DESIGNED SUV'S ON THE PLANET, TAKE A LOOK AT THE "EVOQUE" DESIGN, GREAT TECHNOLOGY BUT WEAK SLOPING ROOF-LINE, IN FACT, IF THE ROOFLINE WAS NOT SO ANGLED, I WOULD BUY ONE TODAY. OTHERWISE THE EVOQUE IS GOOD LOOKING.

NOW THE DEFENDER IS FOLLOWING THE SAME COURSE, PERSUE DESIGN AND FOREGO PRACTICALITY.

LAND ROVER LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE TRYING TOO HARD TO WIN DESIGN AWARDS, INSTEAD OF FOCUSING ON WINNING CUSTOMERS. (*LOOKS JAPANESE)

Joseph Breton
31st August, 2011 @ 11:29 am PDT

Does everyone really think this is such a huge departure in design. I know it is a little smoothed out but everything there has been suggested by Defenders in the past. The real question is going to be suspension, engines and transmission options. If the differential is too much set up for highway and not enough for off road then the Soccer moms have won and we all have lost.

dabear64
31st August, 2011 @ 02:16 pm PDT

Gads. This is either a transformer that ought to get busy changing and stay that way or it's what Mrs. Superman will use to get Krypto to the vet. It's not that it's gonna luck funny in Africa, it looks funny here and now. Like about as tough as a five year old's Matchbox car. Does anyone think those wheels do will anything but cling to mud? What? You don't think this vehicle will ever see any mud? No, I don't think so either but then I guess I'm just not hip enough to "get it."

Guy Newport
31st August, 2011 @ 03:57 pm PDT

The old Defender is robust and almost a kit-car in how a user can reconfigure it- roof tops lots of mounting points for racks etc, exchangeable bumpers etc. the interior can be washed out with a hose and it looks as good or better with mud and dents as it does in the showroom. If you duplicate that AND make it as survivable as a Toyota, well you can charge anything for the little beasts and help reassert the brand in general.

electricpaddle
31st August, 2011 @ 04:30 pm PDT

Obviously there two ways Land Rover can go.

A) They build a solid off-roader that can easily be serviced, repaired and adapted (e.g. seat/load configuration etc.) at a low cost so that it would be suitable for real work as well as taking the family with bicycles and the dog out on the weekend. That would put it more alongside the Jeep Wrangler, just better (sorry but American cars do not have quite the quality... yet/ever?). You could argue that this type of car is already here in the shape of the Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol but really, who takes these (extremely expensive) cars off-road these days and risks some scratches?

B) Then there is the option of making it into lifestyle car like the Mini Cooper just with a bit more off-road heritage. If the price is right that could then be as successful as the Scoda Yeti.

Back to what's actually shown here. The here presented car seems to be something which tries to be both and would probably fail as it would be cannibalising the from the Range Rover range or from the Discovery. However there is also a third way instead of one car that does it all why not build two cars (A and B)? This way they would have two new segments in their car range instead of trying to squeeze a model between their existing range. I might even buy both... ;o)

Stephan
31st August, 2011 @ 08:22 pm PDT

Ugh!

Looks like a cross between a Discovery and an Ice-cream van! A Defender should be tough and mean, not curved and weird, like a Japanese mini-car...

Asoka Indrasoma
31st August, 2011 @ 09:05 pm PDT

I'm sorry Land Rover, but this looks like a shoddy Chinese Motorshow knock-off of a Land Rover styling wise. It also has far too much in common visually with the Discovery, which is a mistake because it needs to have it's own styling, even if it doesn't fit closely with the 'LR family' looks. Defenders have a strong following and Land Rover will alienate a large audience if it doesn't get this 4x4 right.

This vehicle must have a strong off-raod capability and smaller wheels larger tires for it to be a real Defender. No IFS either because software can't make up for genuine articulation. I am pleased about the short-wheelbase and i really hope that there will be an Auto option with low range capability for those that prefer this option. This 4x4 must be utilitarian or many potential buyers will switch to a brand that offers that quality and ability. It must also have the room to tour continents, like the old 130 did.

Oztechi
31st August, 2011 @ 10:11 pm PDT

Falls into the same arena as the Honda Element, a brilliant car designed for Gen Y and bought by mainly over 50's. It seemed to me to fall between 2 stools, it was neither Tonka Toy tough nor Mini cute. Only 4 seats didn't help.

The Defender needs to be one or the other and we all know cute won't do.

The slope to the front grille etc is too soft. Maybe the windscreen needs to be more upright (FJ style maybe?). Also simplify the wheels, way too complex looking.

Use the KISS principle and make it as tough as 60's Landies please.

Also make as customizable as a Mini.

G2
2nd September, 2011 @ 09:37 am PDT

This looks like a soccer mom or yuppie suv not a true off-road in the bush ultra reliable 4X4. Its roots are military, farm and utilitarian for civil defense to beat the path less traveled to save lives, equipment and data. Where are the hard lines and steel and aluminum panels that can be easily replaced with a wrench and screw driver in the field. This looks like a failed cross-over aimed at those who want a Honda Element. Go back the drawing board or better still go to Australia, South Africa, the middle east and see what these beasts look like after a decade of wear and then show us a real update to this icon. The Defender is the alpha and the omega of 4X4 and what you have here in these pictures is something I'd see on MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen Birthday party as a gift from rich parents to a spoiled kid hipster in skinny jeans and 80's throwback fashion. Get your hands dirty, put your mind the shit and make something that gets the hearts of men racing for their Defender, some rope, a rifle and the world is ending but its ok cuz I have this 4X4!

Facebook User
4th September, 2011 @ 11:46 pm PDT

looking kinda of montero sportish......

Rory Noble
8th September, 2011 @ 12:40 pm PDT

It's bad, but not all bad.. I've seen photoshop pictures of this with real off road tires and roof rack and so on, and it could be worse (like in this pictures from the show), BUT, it looks like an ugly yeti combined with a pimpet mini.. And it is NOT a Defender! So.. Yes, even if I see some small positv signs, it is what it is, a wannabe 4x4 for housewife's getting the kids at school.. And that is NEVER what the defender was meant to do..

So if they stick with this, i just ask them: PLEAS let the Defender name die with the one that is now, and let i do so in pride and not with this plastic fantastic bull shit..

And the front.. don't even get me started, I know about the regulations, but still, this is one of the worst I ever seen.. by anyone car manufacture.. It look like a china copy of a real car..

We that own a Defender, or a Series Land Rover takes pride in driving it, using it, restoring it, and abuse it.. And therefor they are one of the most iconic cars ever build. Do they honestly think that in 30-40-50 years from now most of these new "defenders" could say the same? Do they think they are still on the road, of the road or plunge thrue desert, climb mountains, deep in the jungle or just as a working horse on a farm? I think not. This will for me be the day Land Rover dies. Sorry.. It has been a great honor to be a part of the LR community for all these years.

Nicholas, Norway

PS. I have a idea of what the guys are doing, for in the world of big money and capitalism it's stupid to build something that last forever, that never dies.. Why should peoples then buy new cars? Well, there you have it.. It's a sad day when one of the most iconic company takes every bits of it's history and throw it a way in the name of profit.. But this is what the world have become. -and I that was stupid of thinking that LR was different..

Nicholas Morton
13th September, 2011 @ 02:50 pm PDT

Seen the official presentation of the DC100 and want to share my 2p:

Land Rover does not have an idea of what the Defender stand for, it never was and never will be a fashion or trendy car.

From the very conception it is a work tool, so versatile that itself converted to legend. A legend that enabled the sales of all the other LR models.

It started with farmers, construction places, developing countries, disaster areas, helpng to discover and explore our world. Always carrying people and material in a reliable way. Never looking pretty, a dent or two just accentuates its character, no need for makeup. That is the Defender icon !

It is also the most democratic car in the world, behind the wheel can be a count, prince or a gardener you can never tell.

It never was meant to be the weekend playcar (DC100 sport)

Just take a look at the use LR gives the Defender, in every expedition (Ruta Maya, Camel Trophy, G4, LR Experience) the Defender is the workhorse that carries all the tools and supplies. What are they gonna use now?

Dont get me wrong, I know the current design is outdated, LR needs to improve:

Reliability, Greener and more powerful powertrain, reliability, Working HVAC, Cheaper to build body, reliability, Ergonomics

I really don´t care if the new Defender looks completely different from the current one. I need a car that can take the beaten path without complaining and bring me back home.

What LR needs to design is a vehicle that can keep the legend alive, and borror part of that legend to the other LR models to improve their sales.

What I see in the DC100 is just another fashion design that could have been produced by any brand. Complete FAILURE

Rodrigo Beja
13th September, 2011 @ 06:55 pm PDT

You have got to be kidding me. One scratch or dent, slightly over zealous effort on the trail and you have a repair bill that would cripple your enthusiasm to ever go near mud again.

I don't want a soccer mom special, I want a vehicle that looks as tough as it is. Practical, functional and wears a scar on it's flanks with pride without a screaming need to get a panel replaced. Stuff the new one with modern support equipment and practical fixable/maintainable parts, then wrap that chunky hide about it and you've got my vote. But not this.

They have effectively gone all metro-sexual and man-scaped an iconic rugged adventurers ride into this show pony.

Seb
14th September, 2011 @ 06:36 pm PDT

That is a nice baby-Range Rover. But it looks to much like the Totota FJ Cruiser or Hummer H3 for me. I hate to say this, but the current Jeep Wrangler is a better example of evolution of an iconic car.

We, Defender drivers, don't drive in the mud 24/7 and we don't need very expensive electronics for that. And, we don't use our cars only for doing extreme sports. We also don't use Defenders for cruising the boardwalks and we also don't have a lot of money to spend on bills for maintanance and Ëœbugtracking" so we like to do things ourselves.

What we do:

- use and abuse the Defender as an everyday vehicle

- Put up to 7 people in a 110

- put too much luggage on the roof

- drill holes in the body and mount extra lights on front and rear

- don't care about a dent, use the unused space under the body for little storage cases or extra water tanks

- make our own interiors of wood and chequer plate

- prefer steel wheels over alloy ones because of functionality

- bolt on things to the rear cross member

- sit and stand on the front wings

- put a hi-jack under the front- or rear bumper

- replace light lenses for GBP 2,50 when they break while off-roading

- tow heavy trailers

- put our waste in the rear when building a new bathroom in the house

So please, Land Rover. We did accept water and oil leakage, noise while driving, misty windows, LHD driving position almost in the door, lack of leg room, rusty parts, having to mount an after market spare wheel carrier for 60 years, because we liked the car so much.

Please have a look at the more “van-style” way of building cars: You can buy a Ford Transit as a people carrier, as a van, as a chassis-cab 3 seater or a chassis-cab 5 seater. That is the kind of options we want. We don't care about back-to-the-future-ish options.

So: do build this car if you think there's market for it (which I think there is), and use the profit for designing the REAL next-Defender. I understand that the current Defender might be a "Ugly Duckling" for the stylish and modern Land Rover line-up.

If not, I hope Iveco will go on building the Massif for years and years or evolve the model in style.

Paul Sidler
16th September, 2011 @ 01:08 am PDT

I drive a Series 3 88" Land Rover daily. I've owned a 91 range Rover and a Series IIa 109 Land Rover. The Defender has always been the "go anywhere" vehicle. It was rough, it was tough, it took a beating, and kept on going. It was the that which the rest of the LR wasn't, and it rounded out selection nicely. It was a continuation of a lineage that spanned on since the first Series 1. And this "concept" undoubtedly murders that lineage. There is nothing about this vehicle that is "defender". Its plastic, its specially styled, its luxury. It will easily break, it won't be dependable in a remote bush. Its fluff. And the Defender is not fluff. Just the fact that someone in LR thinks this is a suitable replacement for the Defender tells me the King is dying, long lie the King.......

Keith Neuman
20th September, 2011 @ 09:47 am PDT

I'm sorry to say that New Land Rover Defender is simply the ugly ugly design ever! who design this new defender? he has no taste at all. get it better designer. original defender 90 style is much much better.

tonton
16th November, 2011 @ 11:13 pm PST

Yuck. As a Defender owner, I'd not be buying this thing as an 'upgrade'.

Jason Herring
26th March, 2012 @ 06:56 pm PDT
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