Land Rover mulling possible open-deck Defender

With recently leaked details suggesting that the incoming Land Rover Defender will retain its 90, 110 and 130 wheelbase lengths, a new report from Australia has claimed that a business case is being drawn up for the inclusion of a bakkie variant, albeit not on the same platform.

According to whichcar.com.au, the alleged pick-up could be co-developed with another manufacturer as the Defender will ride Jaguar-Land Rover’s unibody Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) that does not support the typical body-on frame layout associated with bakkies.

While refusing to comment in depth about the claims, JLR’s Managing Director for Australia, Mark Cameron, said that while a Defender bakkie has not been ruled out completely, “at the moment there is no plan globally”.

“I think if we had a Defender Land Rover badged, competitively positioned pick-up in Australia it would do really well. But these things are always driven by global business cases, there needs to be sufficient volume,” Cameron said.

“What I am saying to head office is that it would be a fantastic product in Australia, as the top three selling cars here are pick-ups. It is interesting at the moment, it is being considered, definitely”.

As indicated last month, the Defender, in SUV guise, will make its long awaited return later this year with sales of the 90 commencing in October followed by the 110 in March next year and the 130 in 2022.

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