Baby Defender Will Reportedly Join the Land Rover Lineup

8 months, 1 week ago - 8 August 2023, autoevolution
Baby Defender Will Reportedly Join the Land Rover Lineup
Jaguar Land Rover, now reduced to JRL, is working on a smaller Defender, which has reportedly received the green light. The baby Defender should come sometime in 2027.

The smaller off-roader that the British have been planning for years will be underpinned by Jaguar Land Rover's new EMA (Electric Modular Architecture), a platform that supports electrification. It is the same that will underpin the upcoming Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Discovery Sport.

The new entry-level model might get the Defender Sport badging. The move would make perfect sense as JLR has already used the Sport tag for smaller SUVs in the Range Rover and Discovery lineups.

The arrival of the baby Defender, which is yet to get an official name, was confirmed by Jaguar Land Rover's CEO Adrian Mardell. According to Autocar, he told attendees at an investor conference that "Range Rover, Defender and Discovery brands will come off [the EMA] platform."

The architecture will allow the British carmaker to introduce fully-electric SUVs to the market in the second half of the decade. The platform is also designed to support hybrid powertrains, before the brand transitions to a fully electric lineup.

JRL sells the Defender in three different sizes. The smaller of them all is the 90 version, with only two doors and shortened wheelbase. Up next comes the four-door 110 at 197.6 inches (5,018 millimeters).

The upcoming baby Defender should be around 16.5 inches (420 millimeters) shorter than the 110 version, Autocar reports. Back in 1948, a Land Rover was 10.8 feet (3.3 meters) long. That is shorter than a MINI is today, for instance. The size should not be synonymous with compromising off-road abilities, since it gets the mechanics and electronics of its larger siblings.

In the United States, the cheapest Defender you can get is the two-door S version, which comes with an MRSP of $56,400. The four-door 110 Defender S starts at $60,600. The baby Defender will reportedly be a four-door version.

Going the compact way would allow the carmaker to come up with a product that is cost-efficient and, subsequently, more affordable, most likely starting at around 50,000 pounds in its native market, the equivalent of $63,850. As per Autocar, the yet-named Defender version will sport 350-kW fast charging and an 800-Volt electrical system.

The upcoming model should hit the showrooms sometime in 2027 as a 2028 model year. A Defender pickup truck, yet unconfirmed, might also be part of the plan, also with an electric powertrain.

JLR is undergoing major changes. The company has recently shifted its  strategy. It got a brand-new new logo and a brand-new designation, going from Jaguar Land Rover to just JRL). Furthermore, JLR will take a step back, leaving brands such as the Defender, Discovery, and Range Rover be in the spotlight. 

Support Ukraine