Land Rover has relaunched the Defender in two- and four-door flavors, two wheelbases, and three lengths—90, 110, and 130—intending to create a variety of models for the first new Defender in decades. A significant variant is missing at the moment: a pickup. It’s difficult to imagine Land Rover skipping pickups entirely with the current model, given the demand in a number of pickup-friendly markets like Australia and the US.
When we would see such a model, however, is unknown, as is what it might look like.
Land Rover has indicated there have been requests for such a model, Autocar reports, and has pointed out the ease of adapting the Defender to this body style.
Jaguar Land Rover’s executive director of vehicle programs, Nick Collins, told Autocar that there is customer demand for such a model, and that “there were no structural limitations” to the Defender’s monocoque design. Autocar notes that most trucks of this type still feature body-on-frame architecture.
“We always said the Defender would be a family,” Collins told Autocar.
What such a truck would look like remains to be see. Would it be a two-door or a four-door model, and just how much space would it devote to the cargo bed?
In our rendering, the Defender pickup is imagined as lifestyle truck, a four-door model with a truncated rear door and a stretched cargo box based on the 110 chassis, making it longer than the 110 SUV without a wheelbase stretch. Such a layout would keep the Defender to a manageable footprint while giving it a usable (but not too generous) cargo capacity. Autocar also speculates it would be a four-door model with a relatively short bed.
The chances of a two-door model in addition to this one are slimmer, as with the Jeep Gladiator; such a layout would pit it against much less expensive trucks intended for farming or construction, and not the typical Land Rover buyer. It likely wouldn’t see much demand, though we relish the idea of a spartan two-door Defender with minimal luxuries inside (and wearing steelies, of course).
When it comes to time frames, the current Defender is not likely to have a product cycle as long as the previous model, so Land Rover is perhaps a year or two away from offering such a variant, especially as it seeks to chase profits and sales volume.
It’s also prudent to recall that the 130 is still on the way, sharing the 110’s long wheelbase but offering a longer fuselage with a more generous overhang. Land Rover is expected to begin offering the 130 in 2022, meaning the Defender family could well see a total of four bodystyles, with the pickup possibly arriving a year after the 130 SUV, in 2023.
Collins told Autocar that they should “watch this space” in regards to a possible Defender pickup, which in this industry is very close to an admission of a planned model.
Would you prefer to see a two-door or four-door Defender pickup debut? Let us know in the comments below.
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