Land Rover has confirmed at the Paris Motor Show that the next new Land Rover Defender will be sold in the US. The last Land Rover Defender exported to North America was the 1997 model year NAS-spec Defender. The next generation Defender will be part of Land Rover's expanding range of new SUVs, under the ownership of Tata Motors. 'For the first time, we know what we're going to be doing over the next five, six, seven years,' design director Gerry McGovern is quoted as saying. Rumours that the next Land Rover Defender will be going to the U.S. have surfaced before, but this time, the words have come straight from Land Rover; Jaguar Land Rover North America CEO Andy Goss has said that 'the next Defender will be engineered with the US in mind.'
Although Land Rover has been suggesting the Defender would go to the US since the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, its executives seem to be confirming that the automaker intends to sell it in the US as part of the plan to roll it out as a global product. The next Defender will be as 'tough as nails,' said McGovern. The return of the 'quintessential off-road rig' will be important news for 4x4 fans, though Land Rover rep Stuart Schorr stated, 'We have a long way to go from an engineering perspective, as well as many product planning hurdles to cross, and fuel economy regulations to deal with before we can actually confirm that when a new Defender comes to the market globally, that it also is coming back to the US market.
There's been tasters of what the next Defender could look like with the controversial DC100 concept that was initially exhibited at the 2011 Frankfurt, Germany, Motor Show. Two concepts previewed what a future Defender could look like; the DC100 and DC100 Sport. Both were essentially the same vehicle with the exception of the urban-friendly Sport missing its top and the fixed-roof DC100 more oriented for off-road adventures. No further details are known at this time and elsewhere it is being reported that the current Defender will soldier on until 2017.