Land Rover has revealed a preview of its latest Defender model. This classic vehicle is known worldwide for being an icon of military-inspired styling and off-road prowess but it stopped being offered in the U.S. in 1997. There’s a glimmer of hope though as the next-generation Defender is set to arrive in 2015.
Land Rover will be showing off the DC100 SUV, which is likely to be the design of the final version, at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.
Land Rover has confirmed that it will indeed arrive in 2015 but hasn’t announced if it will be offered in North America. Land Rover will soon hold talks with its existing and potential customers to get their reactions. The DC100’s styling is familiar as it’s reminiscent of when the model started in 1948 but it is said to be how the automaker envisions the vehicle in the future.
However, Land Rover admits that changing the Defender’s look would be controversial and stated that production would likely begin only after four years. The Defender is a lot like the Jeep Wrangler, which has remained mostly unchanged and continues to be a preferred vehicle of off-road enthusiasts.
The Land Rover DC100 concept features a totally different design treatment above its waist, which simply highlights the flexibility and modularity of the platform on which it is underpinned. It features a shape that everyone could instantly identify.
As a Land Rover vehicle, the DC100 is a practical model boasting an all-terrain capability. Its interchangeable rear cover could be used to load larger cargoes or to carry extra passengers. Drivers would find its upright windscreen very useful as it offers outstanding visibility when on or off the road. Moreover, the DC100 features a winch neatly integrated into the front grille that could support the vehicle’s weight, as well as towing eyes into each of its corner.
Interestingly, the roof of the Land Rover features solar panels that could be used to power on-board systems, which helps reduce the load on the engine as well as cut emissions. Since the exterior of the Land Rover DC100 is finished in soft metallic silver that could reflect sunlight, the interior could be kept cool in hot climates, which in theory cuts the load of the climate-control system. The interior of the DC100 is defined by functionality and usability, thereby making the location and logic of each control easily recognizable for the driver. Both the function and form of the DC100 and DC100 Sports concepts have been visually incorporated into the layout of the interior.
For instance, door structure flows into the cabin and then forms a stylish beam that runs across the dash. This would allow both concepts to recreate the Series 1 three-abreast seating layout. The DC100 features a social seating arrangement that allows the passenger seat to be folded to increase carrying capacity. In addition, the middle seat features a large concealed storage area as well as a machined aluminum tray with induction charging technology that allows users to recharge their devices.
This space-efficient layout does not only allow for integrated storage areas above and below the central beam, but also permits the gearlever to be mounted on the center console. This configuration means lesser distance between the steering wheel and the gearlever, allowing for increased level of control when driving off-the-road or on high speeds.
Both concepts have a feature mounted just above the gear lever: a central instrument binnacle that combines several informatics functions of an instrument panel and an intuitive touchscreen interface. Supported by a powerful telematics technology that manages technologies featured in the DC100 and DC100 Sport, this interface controls all functions through swipe and press gestures on the touchscreen. Moreover, the steering wheel comes with four shortcut keys that could reconfigure the touchscreen for controlling functions like navigation, audio and climate.