Land Rover recently unveiled the new 2020 Defender, and as you’d expect from the brand these days, it’s pricey. Taking the most stripped-down Defender 90 out of the box will still cost more than $50,000. That’s a spicy-enough meatball to price out many potential buyers. But Land Rover might have plans to push the nameplate further downmarket: Autocar is reporting that a cheaper Defender with styling based on the classic model will arrive in 2021.
That said, think more “Baby Bronco fighter” than “spartan Jeep Wrangler competitor.” The new Defender will reportedly be an entry-level four-door vehicle, slotting below the Discovery Sport in the Landie lineup. It would start in the U.K. at a little less than $33,000. The base engine will reportedly be a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, connected to the front wheels alone or all four; a plug-in hybrid version will allegedly also be in the cards.
Land Rover reportedly sees the vehicle slotting in the crossover segment between cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Jeep Compass and the Volvo XC40 and Mercedes GLB on the luxury end and expanding to markets outside Europe. A high-volume, lower emission crossover would also help Jaguar Land Rover meet emissions standards.
While Land Rover may be broadening the brand, they won’t leave the buyers looking for exclusivity unattended. Autocar also says Land Rover may take on the pristine resto-mod Defender market with a super-luxe member of the Defender family, arriving in 2023. This Defender would have an all-electric powertrain to start, finishings to match the Aston Martin DBX and Bentley Bentayga, and a price tag well north of $100,000. Sadly, reports suggest these Defender models will arrive at the expense of a much-less-sensible (from a profit standpoint, at least) rugged Defender pickup.