Land Rover on Defender ute: “Watch this space”
Land Rover Defender ute poised to return in a flash all-new generation model.
Land Rover is again speaking about the possibility of a new Defender ute based on the latest generation monocoque platform.
Firming possible plans, Jaguar Land Rover’s executive director of vehicle programmes Nick Collins told Autocar that “there is customer demand” to justify such a program. No, it is not confirmed, but it seems that the brand will begin talking about it some more in the lead up to the model eventually joining the family.
“We always said the Defender would be a family,” Collins added, saying to “watch this space” with regards to a ute version.
The Land Rover Defender was previously available in Australia as a ute, based on the old (old, old) box-section ladder frame. The new model will be based on a monocoque design, providing an interesting space for it to play in – not a ladder-frame like the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu Dmax and ilk, but more like the upcoming Hyundai Santa Cruze that will launch in the US.
However, Land Rover has produced a convincing product with the Defender for those wondering about its capability off-road, and a ute would surely carry respectable towing and payload figures with just as good performance off-road.
So far, Land Rover has given us the Defender in 90 short-wheelbase and 110 long-wheelbase forms, with the 130 pending. Perhaps after that, we will begin to see the ute version start testing ahead of a launch.