Land Rover shows two Defender concepts at Frankfurt

For sixty two years old the Defender has been put through a variety of duties around the world and now Land Rover is getting busy developing its replacement. To show fans its progress Land Rover has just revealed two dashing new concepts for the iconic Defender at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Named DC100 and DC100 Sport, the two concepts showcase the direction and thinking behind the ongoing development of the new Land Rover Defender, intended for production in 2015.

Defender purists have always respected the off-road machines rugged ability and simplicity, that’s why almost 2 million units have been sold over the years. Land Rover Director, John Edwards, was quick to reassure fans that the Defender’s core character will remain unchanged.

“The Defender was loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design,” says Edwards. “We are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.”

Both the fixed-roof DC100 and the open-top DC100 Sport concepts share the same platform, 100-inch wheelbase and classic three abreast seating arrangement. The concepts are built using high-tech materials and are designed with fuel efficiency in mind. Both variants offer some clever tricks like a Terrain-i scanning device to warn of obstacles when off-road, Wade Aid sonar technology to assess water depth and Land Rover Terrain Response System, which automatically optimises the car for any environment. There’s also apparently a spike tyre system that the driver can activate through a cabin button.

While these features sound very futuristic for a production vehicle, some of them at least, will make it into the 2015 Defender production version.

Under the bonnet on the DC100 concept is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, while the more performance-focuses DC100 Sport receives a 2.0-litre petrol motor. Both engines are capable of being configured as parallel or plug-in hybrids. The motors are mated to an eight-speed auto transmission and a permanent four-wheel drive system that can decouple the rear axle when AWD capability isn’t required.

“The entire Land Rover team is excited about the opportunity, and the responsibility, of creating the replacement for the iconic Land Rover Defender,” said John Edwards. “We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be an exciting journey, and we can’t wait to get going.”

Expect to hear plenty more about the new Defender as its development continues.

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