Offering a first, and admittedly far-from-final look at a vehicle that will go on sale in 2015, the Land Rover DC100 Concept makes its formal debut in Frankfurt. According to Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, Land Rover, "This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."
Equally at home on the Serengeti plains and the Australian Outback, as it was on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the current Defender has aged less gracefully of late compared to rivals like the Toyota Land Cruiser, a fact reflected in dwindling international sales and its flat disappearance from the U.S. market in the late '90s when it failed to keep pace with new safety and emissions regulations. According to McGovern, replacing the roughest and toughest member of the go-anywhere Land Rover lineup stands as "one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world."
That sentiment is echoed by John Edwards, Global Brand Director, Land Rover. "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." Edwards says the firm "plans to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalize the details of the new vehicle."
According to Kim McCullough, Brand Vice President, Land Rover North America, no decision has been made as to whether this next-generation Defender will return to our shores.