The Land Rover Defender is known the world over as a non-nonsense SUV that will get you anywhere you need to go. Period, end of sentence. It has no luxury aspirations, but it enjoys a rabid cult following that ranges from British farmers through explorers and adventurers to well-off suburbanites who like to portray the image of adventure. The Defender will get you to the grocery store, even if you have to take game trails or forge your own path to get there; in fact, long after the human race has been wiped off the earth, giant cockroaches will probably be driving the last remaining Defenders, at least until fossil fuel runs out.
If you get the idea that the Defender, which has been built continuously since 1983, is a tough act to follow, you’d be correct. That’s why I’m taken aback by the renderings of the DC100, a vehicle that Land Rover says could be the 2015 replacement for the storied Defender. I know appearances can be deceiving, but the DC100 looks like more of a threat to the Toyota RAV4 than to the Jeep Wrangler. If shopping mall parking lot supremacy is the deciding factor for your next SUV purchase, the DC100 looks like a reasonable choice. If getting you to hell and back is your prime consideration, I’m just not seeing it in the DC100.
To be kind, the short front and rear overhangs should make tackling most obstacles no problem, and it looks like it has plenty of ground clearance. Those wheels would hold up for about ten minutes on any serious trail, though, and that’s assuming they don’t get you bogged down in the mud first. I won’t even speculate on the durability of the plastic front facia, but if the DC100 sees production, I anticipate a huge aftermarket front bumper business.
Here’s the good news: the DC 100 is nothing more than a styling exercise, or the most basic of starting points for a new Defender design. Land Rover is showing the concept to elicit customer feedback, and I suspect I’m not alone in my criticism. Look for updated designs as we count down the time until launch of the new Defender, and keep your fingers crossed that it will once again grace our shores.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover