Gas guzzlers are out and electric vehicles (EVs) are in. By 2035 it will no longer be possible to purchase gas and petrol-powered vehicles in seven US states, Canada or the EU. The UK has even brought this date forward 5 years, pushing petrol-powered cars out the door by 2030. Though you will still be able to drive your old gas-powered car after this deadline, the aim is to do away with newly manufactured gas-powered vehicles.
EV technology has come on in leaps and bounds in the last ten years. Various vehicle manufacturers have set a precedent and added an EV or two to their catalog. The latest label to add EVs to their roster? Jaguar Land Rover. Not exactly known for their dedication to the environment, Land Rovers are instead prized for their ability to overcome it. This has left many Land Rover lovers wondering whether EVs will be able to live up to their terrain-hopping, mountain-conquering predecessors.
So, together with Zemotor, one of the biggest car sales online platforms let’s take a dive into the Land Rover EVs and find out exactly what their brand-new Defender is made of.
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The Defender Legacy
Although the Defender has become synonymous with Land Rover’s superlative luxury and adventurous spirit, it’s far from the first car the manufacturer has perfected. Let’s take a look at the Defender’s history, and put the compact electric Defender into context.
– **1948 Onwards** – The Land Rover is released on April 30th 1948 and is marketed at a price of £450, the height of luxury. After becoming the standard car of the British Army, Land Rover released its Series II and Series III equivalents.
– **1983 – 1984** – The Land Rover 110 and a two-door equivalent, the 90, are released, becoming the first Defenders in everything but name. The cars had 110 and 93-inch wheelbases respectively, four-cylinder engines and five-speed gearboxes.
– **1990 Onwards** – The 110 and 90 are renamed to the Defender 110 and Defender 90, and the five-cylinder Td5 is added. In 2007, a six-speed gearbox was fitted as standard and in 2015 Land Rover announced the *Year of the Defender*.
The Defender has become one of the most beloved in the manufacturer’s catalog and is now sold around the world. Despite retiring the Defender’s original model in 2016 and releasing an all-new version in 2020, Jaguar Land-Rover has big plans for the Defender.
A New Chapter for Land Rover
In April 2023, Jaguar Land Rover held an investor conference in which they revealed electrifying plans. Hoping to invest £15 billion over the next five years, JLR are transforming their Halewood manufacturing facility to be 100% dedicated to EV production.
Not only that but the next four cars to be added to JLR’s roster will all be EVs. These include the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Range Rover Velar. However, for months after this announcement, anticipation rumbled over what the fourth car in the series would be, or whether there would be one at all.
Then, in summer 2023, Land Rover finally announced that they would be releasing a compact electric SUV, likely to be called the Defender Sport, in 2027. A smaller addition to the range, the all-new Defender will reportedly still be packed full of Land Rover’s adventurous spirit.
In a conversation with AutoExpress.co.uk, Adrian Mardell, CEO of JLR, shared his excitement for the new range of Land Rover EVs. “We have to electrify Defender of course,” he said. “And we will be looking to electrify the existing Defender off MLA later this decade.” This is also in preparation for Defender to become its own brand by 2025, alongside Range Rover and Discovery.
It’s no surprise that Land Rover added the Defender to its plans for electrification, given that the model is one of the manufacturer’s most popular. Commenting on this allure, JLR’s marketing director, Anthony Bradbury, in conversation with Autocar stated “[It’s] an explorer’s vehicle, it’s always pushed boundaries, it’s always physically allowed you to do things no other vehicle can. It’s about that spirit of embracing the impossible, and it has been like that for 75 years.”
What Can We Expect from an Electric Defender?
If the Defender is such a beacon of adventure, the EV sport version should have a lot of that same “feeling of activation, of doing.” We don’t know much, but given that the Defender Sport will use the EMA (electrified modular architecture) that the other new releases will be built on, we can deduce a few things.
1. The Defender Sport will have an 800kW architecture, indicating high performance and potential for all-wheel drive. On top of this, the compact SUV will have incredibly fast charging times, meaning there’ll be no unnecessary or prolonged stops on your adventure.
2. The new range of Land Rover EVs will use batteries from TATA Green Batteries, that have an “unparalleled start time.” Jaguar has made a point of using LG energy solution batteries, but Land Rover will differ from this in the hopes of offering greater energy density.
3. Although the Defender Sport will be slightly more compact than its older brothers, JLR is packing in space where it matters. Thanks to the smaller Green Batteries, the Defender Sport will have increased room in the cabin and a greater ride height.
Though much of the above information is hearsay and many things about the Defender Sport, including its name, might change before its expected release in 2027, anticipation is still fervent.
JLR’s commitment to electrifying old favorites and introducing revolutionary eco-friendly models is a move that’s sure to make waves. Hopefully, other manufacturers will follow in JLR’s footsteps and seek to offer high-end, high-spec EVs.
However, in the meantime, the Defender Sport will certainly maintain its position as one of Land-Rover lovers’ favorites and the best in luxury SUVs. Adventure should be fun for everyone involved, including the environment, and the Defender Sport looks set to make this dream a reality.
More news on the new range of Land Rover EVs is expected to be released at the close of 2023. Check back in as we’ll be keeping you updated on everything Defender Sport.
Will you be getting a Defender Sport, or are you sticking with your ICE for a little longer? Let us know!