Land Rover has overhauled almost its entire line with the 2010 updates to the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and LR4 (Discovery), but the one vehicle that hardly gets touched is the one that started it all. The car now know as the Defender may be set to get its largest makeover in its over sixty-year history.
Land Rover is set to reveal a new Defender for 2013. This can be extremely tricky because the reason Britain’s Jeep remained largely untouched since its birth is because of its loyal following. Customers like its basic utilitarian structure, which has made it a European workhorse. What will not help the new Defender’s acceptance with the loyalists is that it will likely be based on the Discovery in order to reduce costs. This will include trading in the coil spring suspension for an independent setup that may include air bags for adjusting ride height.
Land Rover currently sells about 25,000 Defenders per year. It’s now hoping that the updated and modernized vehicle will push sales to 40,000. No word yet on if this means a return of the Defender to the U.S. Land Rover had to stop selling the Discovery here in 1997 because of safety regulations, but a modern car may finally account for current rules.