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Land Rover Defender EV, Defender 70 compact SUV under review

With the large SUV space already served, the Defender’s next direction is downward.

With the new Defender, Landrover has taken the bold step of reinventing its sturdy and functional packhorse as a modern SUV reminiscent of the past, instead of a classic that is all about style rather than materials. . It has clearly paid off, too, as the Defender’s success since its 2020 launch has surpassed even Land Rover’s expectations. Production has been ramped up to accommodate, and the brand is now producing 50% more Defenders than originally planned.

  1. The need for protection exceeded Land Rover’s own expectations
  2. All-electric Defender driven by regulation, market demand
  3. Smaller Defender will adapt to the look of a large SUV

This although there are several models of similar size and capabilities, with common platform, engine and technology, in the form of Discover, Range Rover Sport And Range Rover. Clearly, the Defender’s appeal lies in its tough looks and unflinching square shape, which has so far performed well in three body lengths – 90, 110 and 130. Land Rover, understandably , wanted to capitalize on this popularity and expand the Defender family beyond the segment. the three models mentioned above.

Land Rover Defender EV on card

The next logical step for defender definitely an all-electric version. This is the direction JLR is heading, and overseas, PHEV variants have been offered with an electric-only range of more than 43 km. However, it remains to be seen how Defender’s beefy D7x platform can be adapted to accommodate a large battery pack with sufficient range. The Range Rover’s new MLA Flex platformon the other hand, was designed to run on electricity from the start, so maybe an adaptation of this would work.

With main opponents like Mercedes-Benz G-Class And Jeep car showed that the studies were purely electric, it was only a matter of time before they hit the market. Meanwhile, American brands have entered the EV space with EV pickups from Ford, GM and Ram, as well as the new all-electric Hummer.

More than just market demand, a company source tells us the decision on the Defender EV will be driven by ever-tightening emissions regulations. For a brand that only makes SUVs, full electrification is the only way to secure its future.

Smaller ’70’s ​​can reach a wider audience

With the Defender currently having the large SUV market locked in with 90, 110 and 130 body styles, it’s conceivable that the next step is to drop the price and while unconfirmed we’re told it’s under review. price. After all, each sub-brand – Defender, Discovery and Range Rover – is considered an SUV, each with its own purpose – utility, entertainment and luxury respectively.

The flagship SUV miniaturization strategy has worked extremely well for Range Rover with evoked (And velar) and Discovery with Discovery Sport, and as a result Land Rover also has Defender-ready platforms. There’s the Defender’s defining characteristic of go-anywhere capability, but then all Land Rover models have built-in off-road capability, so ramping things up is easy. easier. What’s more important will be recreating Defender’s signature squarish look and bringing a level of realism that wouldn’t be so easy with a smaller size.

As for the platform, the obvious choice would be the PTA (Premium Horizontal Architecture) platform introduced with the new Range Rover Evoque. It supports ICE and PHEV powertrains with a horizontal engine layout and sizable underfloor battery space. However, for the electric version of this smaller Defender, Land Rover will likely switch to an upcoming version. EMA (Electrified Modular Architecture) platformwhich it is lining up for the next generation Evoque and Velar.

Do you think a smaller Defender model will be as successful as the larger ones? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also see:

Land Rover Defender 130 review: Worth a try?


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