The original Land Rover Defender has been out of production for a couple of years now and Land Rover has been keeping a pretty tight lid on any news regarding its replacement, which is expected to be shown in late 2018 in production form and start rolling off the assembly line as a 2019 model.
The company has plenty of reasons to keep the upcoming 4x4 under wraps until the last minute: A Chinese automaker took a little too much inspiration from the Evoque and has started churning out its own version. Land Rover would like to delay that from happening to the Defender, which is why we haven't seen any hint of the upcoming SUV's exterior or seen much in the way of specs.
The new Defender, code-named L663, will be shown during the company's 70th anniversary. It will be available in two body styles, in keeping with the 90 and 110 main models of the outgoing Defender, and both will be based on Jaguar Land Rover's aluminum architecture dubbed D7U, which underpins the Range Rover and Discovery models.
Hard- and soft-top body styles will be offered on both wheelbase choices and will be joined by pickup and other variants appearing later; all will use the Ingenium lineup of engines.
When it comes to design, the Defender may not stay close to the DC100 concept unveiled this decade; Land Rover was not enthused by the response the concept received and has decided to go in a different direction.
What that direction may look like is still a secret, but clues offered by Land Rover design head Gerry McGovern suggest the Defender likely will not advertise its off-road capabilities through stereotypical off-road features such as rows of spotlights or snorkels.