But unlike the X-Class, it will only be offered as a single cab.
Land Rover is currently working on the brand-new Defender to celebrate the iconic off-roader’s 70th anniversary this year. Comments made by Land Rover’s Gerry McGovern have intrigued us, as the design boss has admitted the reborn Defender’s design will be “polarizing” and promises it will push the familiar-looking new G-Class “in the shade.” Turns out the G-Class isn’t the only Mercedes model Land Rover is gunning for, however. According to Autocar, the new Defender will also spawn a pickup variant in 2020 to compete with the Mercedes X-Class.
But while the Defender pickup will reportedly only be offered with two doors, the Mercedes X-Class is sold exclusively as a double cab. Sources closer to Land Rover have told Autocar Land Rover’s new pickup will be based on the long-wheelbase Defender and will have around the same payload as the Nissan Navara. As for why the Defender pickup truck probably won’t be offered as a double cab, modifying the platform to accommodate a single cab configuration is far easier. To cater to a variety of markets, it will be sold in several guises including a rudimentary base model and a range-topping luxury model to rival the X-Class.
The premium model could be built in the firm’s new Slovakia plant where the main Defender models are expected to be built, while the base model might be made elsewhere, possibly at a new plant in Mexico. A Defender pickup could potentially be another huge sales hit for Land Rover as it will undoubtedly appeal to America, particularly as the premium X-Class isn’t sold in the US, while the segment’s popularity is growing in Europe. It could also find a market in developing parts of the world, including South America and Africa where Land Rover Defenders, Toyota Hiluxes and Toyota Land Cruisers are a common sight.
While the standard Defender is expected to spawn plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions, the pickup truck will only be available with 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines due to its popularity in countries where hybrids and EVs are in less demand.