- The next-generation Defender will be sold in the U.S., Land Rover Design Director Gerry McGovern confirms.
- McGovern emphasized that the future Defender will not be a retro-looking model.
- Expect to see the finished design in the next couple of years, with U.S. sales launching in 2016.
PALM SPRINGS, California — Land Rover's Design Director Gerry McGovern confirmed that the next-generation Land Rover Defender will be sold in the United States. He made the remarks during a design lecture hosted by Land Rover as part of Modernism Week in the desert city 100 miles east of Los Angeles.
"We will reintroduce the Defender into this market," McGovern said during a question and answer session following a lecture on the influence of Modernism on his design philosophy. A version of the long-running SUV called the Defender 90 was last sold in the U.S. in 1997.
In terms of its design, McGovern emphasized that it will not be a retro-looking Defender.
"We're not looking to replicate something that's 60 years old," McGovern said, referring to the styling of the current Defender that dates back to 1948. "I think people will be surprised when they see it."
The reintroduction of the Defender into the U.S. market is part of a three-pillar product plan that is currently being rolled out. It consists of the Range Rover line for luxury buyers, the LR4-based line for leisure buyers and the Defender-based line for what Land Rover calls "dual-purpose" buyers.
According to McGovern, the multipronged strategy will allow the brand to offer a more customized approach to potential buyers.
"We will use different materials and colors for each line, so each one will have its own look and feel," McGovern said during a follow-up interview with Edmunds.
Expect to see the finished design in the next couple of years, with U.S. sales launching in 2016.
Edmunds says: The Land Rover Defender is returning to the U.S., but don't expect a retro-looking SUV when it arrives.