Why not capitalize on a cool nameplate?
The new 2021 Land Rover Defender is a long-awaited return of an iconic vehicle. The Defender's launch was anything but smooth due to the global pandemic, but the new SUV is now arriving at dealerships, while Land Rover is making a major recovery. Now that the Defender is back, it seems hard to believe that Land Rover won't take advantage of the model's name recognition to build a second variant.
Much like the new Ford Bronco, which arrived alongside a more affordable and mainstream Bronco Sport model, Land Rover won't be content to offer just one Defender model. In a report about upcoming Jaguar and Land Rover products, WhatCar reports that a smaller, "baby" Defender model will arrive in 2022.
This is not the first time we've heard a rumor about the expansion of the Defender lineup. The Defender could grow to become its own sub-brand within Land Rover, much like the Range Rover lineup. This expansion would begin with a more compact model with less space, less equipment, and a smaller engine. That engine would likely be a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder (the same one in the new Evoque plug-in hybrid), sending power to the front wheels. All-wheel-drive versions would also be available as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
The report claims this new model will receive a new name that Land Rover hasn't used before. If we had to guess, Land Rover would follow up on the Range Rover Sport and Discovery Sport naming scheme, calling this new model the Defender Sport.
Before the Defender Sport arrives, Land Rover will reveal an all-new Range Rover next year with a brand-new platform. The Range Rover will offer multiple engines and plug-in hybrid options, possibly even an electric version. Later in 2021, the smaller Range Rover Sport will arrive, followed by the rumored all-electric Road Rover in 2022.