New Defender due on sale in 2015
* New Defender will have basic and upmarket forms * Decision on Evoque Convertible within months * No plans for seven-seat Evoque...
The all-new Land Rover Defender, previewed by two DC100 concept cars, will be on sale by 2015.
Land Rover boss John Edwards made the announcement at the Geneva motor show, and he also revealed to What Car? that the new car will be designed to appeal to a much broader audience than the current model.
'We currently sell just under 20,000 Defenders a year, which is nothing,' he said. 'We wouldn't be developing a replacement unless there was the potential to attract both existing customers and many people who would never have considered a Defender before.
'The new Defender has to be very tough, very easy to maintain and very affordable at its base point,' Edwards continued, 'but that's not to say that we don't think the car can stretch to a premium price. It will be available with all the latest technology.'
Edwards also confirmed that a decision on whether to put the Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept model into production would be made within the next three or four months. However, even if it gets the go-ahead, which seems likely, it will still be a further two years before the car goes on sale.
A long-wheelbase version of the next Range Rover, that would appeal primarily to the Chinese market, is another model that's likely to be introduced, and Edwards feels that there is the potential for both a smaller Range Rover that sits beneath the Evoque and much more expensive Range Rover variants.
One model that is unlikely to go into production, however, is the rumoured seven-seat Evoque. 'I can absolutely confirm that the speculation is erroneous,' Edwards said.