And it's not going to be some crappy crossover.
It hasn’t been sold in the US since 1997, but the iconic Land Rover Defender has remained available in Europe and other parts of the world. That is until next summer. EU Authorities, in their infinite wisdom, have deemed the Defender as something that’ll kill the Earth. Its crimes? It fails to meet upcoming emissions, crash test, and pedestrian-safety standards. Launched in 1948, it’ll be gone in the next few months. But there’s good news: Land Rover is working on an entirely new Defender that’ll arrive in time for its 70th anniversary in 2018.
What’s more, it’ll be available once again in the US. Automobile Magazine claims insiders have hinted that at least five body styles will be on offer: two-door short-wheelbase with a metal top, two-door short wheelbase with a soft top, a four-door long wheelbase with a metal top, two-door short wheelbase pickup, and a four-door long-wheelbase pickup. A variety of engines will also be available, such as two 2.0-liter diesels, two 2.0-liter four bangers, and a 300-hp 3.0-liter V6 that’ll replace the V8. Buyers will be able to choose either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic on all engines. Both gearboxes can also be paired to a low-range transfer case and two differential locks as an option.
Most importantly, the new Defender will once again be truly off-road capable. It’ll retain the live axle setup, but the SUV’s frame itself won’t be made of iron. Instead, it’ll consist of two subframes attached to a light unibody. It’ll still be a rough ride because features like an air suspension and active body control won’t be offered in an effort to save costs. LR hopes to sell at least 30,000 units annually, but production can easily be increased if there’s demand.