In a forthcoming development, the venerable Land Rover Defender is set to receive a modern upgrade with a fully electric version. According to a detailed report from Auto Express, this updated variant will leverage the Flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform, a versatile and sophisticated structure currently used by Land Rover’s high-end models, such as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
Auto Express sources assert that the forthcoming electric Defender will retire the old D7 platform and adopt the MLA Flex, which is capable of supporting the entire Range Rover family. The platform’s versatility is particularly impressive, as it can accommodate both conventional internal combustion engine models as well as fully electric variants without any issues.
Industry insiders have revealed that the MLA platform can accommodate b-packs up to a staggering 100 kWh battery capacity, potentially offering a stellar all-electric range of approximately 500 km (expected to adhere to the WLTP range). As the automotive world adapts to greener technologies, the introduction of the electric Defender marks a positive step in this direction for the iconic brand.
The highly anticipated release of a 100% electric version of the iconic Land Rover Defender is on the horizon. Thierry Bollore, the former CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, acknowledged the challenge of weight in electric vehicles, citing the battery as the main culprit. However, Bollore was confident that this obstacle would soon be overcome, paving the way for the latest Land Rover models to hit showrooms with zero emissions engines.
Expect to see subtle yet distinct changes in the design of the electric Land Rover Defender, such as a redesigned grille and bumper, new wheels, and potential body accents. While major changes to the battery-powered Defender’s design may not be in the cards, Land Rover may opt for minor aesthetic adjustments, including a black grille and front bumper, different wheel design, color options, and a revised rear bumper.
As for the interior, the platform is different, but the changes will likely be minor. The Defender’s cabin has already received high praise, so Land Rover is expected to make only minor adjustments. Nonetheless, sustainability is a growing concern in the automotive industry, and brands such as Volvo and Rolls-Royce have pledged to incorporate more environmentally friendly materials in their electric vehicles. Land Rover is poised to follow suit, further solidifying its commitment to sustainability.
The electric Land Rover Defender serves as a formidable contender against a multitude of advanced electric vehicles, depending on its variant and price. Prospective buyers may consider options such as the Scout electric SUV, the Rivian R1S, and the Jeep Recon, among others. It is noteworthy that Mercedes’ EQG is set to make its debut in 2024, albeit at a steeper cost.
Notably, the hybrid variant of the Land Rover Defender is already available from authorized dealerships. As part of its new strategy, “Let’s think again,” Jaguar Land Rover is injecting an unprecedented push towards electrification for both brands. As the company aims to unveil its complete lineup of electric models by 2030, the unveiling of an electric Land Rover Defender is not a matter of if, but of when.
With long-term plans to launch six electric cars by early 2026, Land Rover’s electric offerings are poised to revolutionize the automotive industry.