When Jaguar and Land Rover were originally purchased by the Tata Group, they were money losing entities. Many expected the (at the time) thriving Tata to provide support for the companies while they worked to gain profitability. But, a funny thing happened – Jaguar and Land Rover’s models exceeded sales expectations.
Now, they are generating handsome profits. Land Rover is selling increasing quantities of its SUVs up and down the range. This comes amid launch of the Evoque, a vehicle some say betrays some of the famous off-road capability the company is known for. Tests have disagreed with that logic, but the DC100 concept indicates Land Rover could be returning to its roots in a big way.
Land Rover and Jeep (and formerly HUMMER) are regarded as the world’s leaders in off-road vehicles. An iconic model for Land Rover has been the Defender, dating back all the way to 1948 in different variations. A replacement has been discussed for years, but we finally have a date for launch – 2015 – right from Land Rover.
The DC100 Concept gives a hint of what to expect from the next-generation model. While it looks pretty production-ready to us, it apparently is not a production preview concept. The DC100 is to test the waters and see what public reaction it receives – good or bad.
At first glance the DC100 is rugged and clearly a successor to the Defender. We like that is thoroughly modern as well and not overtly retro, Land Rover says it is embarking on a four-year journey to the Defender’s 2015 launch.
Land Rover’s chief of design Gerry McGovern, says “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; 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.”
Brand director John Edwards (not THAT John Edwards….) adds that “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 along.” The next Defender looks to take it to the Jeep Wrangler, and serve as a lower-cost volume model for Land Rover.