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Land Rover Defender Will Face Strong Competition

Rumor

And it will come in the shape of a German EV.

Late last week Land Rover revealed that a reborn Defender SUV would be coming back to America in 2020. Pictures of the upcoming offroader covered in light camo showed that it will be quite similar to that of the original. And now Autobild reports that it’ll likely face a new competitor. Which automaker wants to directly challenge Land Rover and its next-generation icon?

That would be Volkswagen. No big surprise, right? No, not really. However, the report also claims VW wants its Defender fighter to be an EV. This SUV, said to be called T-Rug (rendered here courtesy of Autobild) will ride on the same MEB platform that’ll underpin all of VW’s new EVs.

Both three- and five-door body styles will be offered and the interior is said to be covered in a wear-resistant plastic that can be washed with a high-pressure hose. Clearly VW has off-roading in mind here. The rumored launch date would be no earlier than 2022. An all-electric off-roader is definitely possible for a number of reasons, among them instant torque thanks to electric motors mounted at both front and rear axles. Sufficient ride height can easily be achieved and its lower center of gravity, due to its floor-mounted battery pack, will help keep the vehicle planted in various off-road conditions. VW engineers will likely come up with additional trick methods to ensure the T-Rug, or whatever it’ll be called, can handle a long list of off-road conditions.

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The report also mentions VW would like to price the vehicle at around 24,000 Euros. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2020 Defender go for anything less than $35,000 or so. Assuming this report is true and VW is able to build a fully electric off-road-focused SUV for under $30,000, then Land Rover may have to respond somehow faster than originally planned.

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