The new Defender could be made into an awfully cool truck.
Jaguar Land Rover, up until very recently, was experiencing serious financial troubles. The arrival of the reborn, all-new Land Rover Defender is a big deal not only for SUV fans but also for the automaker itself. The new Defender is the right vehicle at the right time because SUVs are hotter than ever. Having a famous nameplate doesn't hurt. Its appeal is further expanded because buyers can choose either a two- or four-door body style.
But there's another segment Land Rover doesn't currently compete in - pickup trucks. Along with SUVs, trucks are wildly popular, particularly in the US. So this begs the question: could the new Defender be turned into a truck?
An anonymous Land Rover source confirmed to Autocar this is "technically possible" but there are no immediate plans to do so. The Defender's D7x platform is certainly up for the task and who wouldn't want to see the Jeep Gladiator get some competition aside from the upcoming Ford Bronco?
But there's an underlying problem here Land Rover is fully aware of: pricing. The pickup truck market has changed dramatically since the last time the Defender was around. Trucks were far more spartan then, but now they're often all-out luxury vehicles. Look no further than the $65,000+ Ford F-150 Limited.
A new Defender truck would only be financially justified if it could be built in large quantities and priced appropriately within the segment. Above all, Land Rover is concerned a truck could end up being a distraction, stealing vital attention away from the new Defender SUV. Just because this formula worked brilliantly for Jeep doesn't mean it would do the same for JLR.
Also, the carmaker is continuing to invest heavily in electric vehicle development for future models like the fully-electric next-generation Jaguar XJ and a potential wagon-like Land Rover EV.
But still, the automaker doesn't appear to rule out a Defender truck entirely; it's just not a priority for the time being.