Tata Motors-owned Land Rover’s two Defender concepts, revealed at Frankfurt, give some idea of what the company will launch in 2015, replacing its core go-anywhere model that dates back to 1948.
The automaker has said previously these are not near production-ready unlike so many so-called ‘concepts’ these days. One for ‘capability and versatility’ and one for ‘freedom and leisure’ are both based on the same lightweight, mixed-alloy platform.
Three-abreast ‘social seating’ is inspired by the first Land Rovers (the prototype had a central steering wheel).
They are said to be made of ‘cutting-edge, sustainable, hi-tech materials taken from aerospace industries.
Gadgets include the Terrain-i scanning device to warn of obstacles when off-roading and suggest alternative routes; wade aid that uses sonar technology to assess water depth and advise optimum speed, new generation terrain response system, driver-activated spiked tyre system, permanent four-wheel drive with an eight-speed transmission, stop/start and a transfer case.
Driveline disconnect physically decouples the rear axle to save fuel when all-wheel drive is not required.
Power is from two litre, I4 petrol and diesel engines with hybrid and plug-in technology.
The radio frequency identification (RFID) leisure key is a waterproof, lightweight alternative to the control fob. ‘Always-on’ connectivity and telematics allow for car-to-smartphone, car-to-car and car-to-base communication.
Both concepts also have built-in induction (contactless) charging stations.