Honey, I shrunk the Defender
With its winning combination of rugged styling, exceptional off-road ability, along with the trappings of luxury, the Defender has been a global hit, and the British 4×4 firm is now seeking to expand the brand.
Range Rover, Discovery and Defender were recently declared brands in their own right by Land Rover and CEO Adrian Mardell has confirmed that each will be getting new models built on a new electric platform, called Electric Modular Architecture. “Range Rover, Defender and Discovery brands will come off that platform,” he said.
Autocar predicts that the first models to be built using EMA will be the next generation Range Rover Velar and Discovery Sport, with the smaller Defender Sport following soon afterwards. Cars underpinned by this new architecture will feature 800-Volt fast-charging, capable of taking 350 kW from DC rapid chargers, minimizing pit stops, while the batteries will be of much higher density than those used in the Jaguar I-Pace. That means they can be smaller, lighter, and allow the car to run a higher ride-height.
Although the baby Defender will be electric it will still be as adventurous as ever, according to marketing boss Anthony Bradbury. “It’s an explorer’s vehicle, it’s always pushed boundaries, it’s always physically allowed you to do things no other vehicle can. It’s about that spirit of embracing the impossible, and it has been like that for 75 years.”