The Land Rover Defender was the unbroken link to the Series Land Rovers of the post-war years through the 1970s. The Land Rover DC100 Concept, which debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, is a modern interpretation of that classic Land Rover.
In August of 2011, Land Rover confirmed that production of a new Defender is intended for 2015. There’s currently no decision as to whether a next-generation Defender will make it to North America. The Defender launched in the United States in 1993, and sales in North America ceased in 1997. Since that time, Land Rover Defenders have sold on the used market for near-exotic car prices.
In other parts of the world, the Land Rover Defender was introduced in 1983 as the Land Rover Ninety and Land Rover One Ten, names that signified their respective wheelbases in inches. The Ninety and the One Ten replaced the Land Rover Series III.
The Ninety and One Ten were renamed Defender 90 and Defender 110 in 1991 to avoid confusion with the newly released Land Rover Discovery. A North American specification (NAS) Defender was released for sale in 1993.
"Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world,” said Gerry McGovern, director of design for Land Rover. “It is a car that inspires people worldwide. This isn't a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."
"Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market,” said Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards. “We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalize the details of the new vehicle. One thing's for sure, it's going to be an exciting journey, and we can't wait to get going," added Edwards.
The intent of the Land Rover DC100 was to build upon the Defender’s essential elements, and provide a sounding board to open the debate and get enthusiasts talking about its potential return. Land Rover debuted two versions of the concept in Frankfurt: The DC100 and the DC100 Sport, which featured a cut-down windscreen and side glass and a nearly roadster-style profile with the wheels pushed out to all four corners.
The DC100 Concept features world-class all-terrain technologies, hi-tech materials and cutting-edge design, enhancing the Defender’s functionality, capability and usability. This concept launches the Defender into the 21st century. Stay tuned for further developments as the new Defender nears production in 2015.