Land Rover will soon split into three brands called Defender, Discovery, and Range Rover, respectively. Turning a nameplate into a company requires launching new models, and one of the upcoming Defender-branded off-roaders will allegedly land as an entry-level electric car.
The on-again, off-again “baby Defender” has received the green light for production, according to British magazine Autocar. Citing company boss Adrian Mardell, the publication added that the yet-unnamed model will ride on the upcoming EMA platform that’s being developed to underpin EVs. That’s the same architecture that will underpin the next Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Discovery Sport.
While the four SUVs will share numerous parts under the sheet metal, it’s reasonable to assume that they won’t be linked by styling cues. It sounds like the point of separating Land Rover into three brands is to focus on each one’s strengths, and the Defender nameplate has been synonymous with off-roading for decades. Nothing is official yet, but our crystal ball tells us the baby Defender will feature a rugged-looking design and offer more off-road capacity than, say, the Velar, which is likely to again lean towards the performance side of the SUV spectrum.
And yet, Autocar describes the model as being more road-focused than the full-size Defender. It will stretch approximately 181 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 71 inches tall. In comparison, the Defender 110 currently in showrooms measures around 197 inches long, 83 inches wide, and 77 inches tall. We’re using the four-door 110 as a point of comparison because the smaller model will likely have four doors.
It’s too early to provide powertrain details because development work is ongoing, but Autocar has a few ideas about what the specifications sheet will look like. It speculates that the model will use an 800-volt electrical architecture and offer 350-kilowatt fast-charging. Electricity will be stored in batteries that will be more power-dense than the ones currently in Jaguar-Land Rover’s arsenal and consequently thinner.
Defender’s entry-level model is tentatively scheduled to reach showrooms in 2027, so we could see it here as a 2028 model assuming the brand decides to sell it on our shores. There’s no word on pricing yet, but it should cost less than the current-generation Defender (pictured).