The Land Rover Defender was the last remaining vestige to the utilitarian origins of the brand, but global emissions, safety, and fuel-economy standards dealt a fatal blow to the original British 4x4. But the company has not forgotten its roots, and a utilitarian-minded off-road model remains as part of the company’s product plans, as evidenced by the introduction of the DC100 concept a few years ago. But according to a report from Britain’s Autocar, the design of the production model will not look exactly like the concept.
The DC100 was reportedly deemed too generic by company insiders, who insisted the production model have a more unique character. The majority of newer Land Rover designs have been very design-forward, so it’s unlikely the Defender replacement will be a retro-styled clone of the original Defender. However, some heritage styling elements are expected to make an appearance in a nod to its predecessor.
The company is reportedly targeting 50,000 annual unit sales for the new model globally, balancing the competing factors of affordability, durability, and desirability to make it appealing to customers in both developing and developed markets. The Defender was last sold in the U.S. market in 1997 but is still built in the U.K. for European and other global markets. Production on the current Defender will end in 2015.