Is a Land Rover Defender pickup no longer happening?
Land Rover made good on its promise for a second-generation Defender at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show. The Defender landed in Frankfurt in three-door 90 and five-door 110 forms, we reportedly would eventually see a pickup truck based on the new SUV. However, it appears as though those Defender pickup truck dreams may never come to fruition.
A “senior” Land Rover Jaguar source told Australia’s Car Sales on the sidelines of the Frankfurt show that plans for the Defender-based pickup have been scrapped. The four-door pickup was slated to be based on the upcoming long-wheelbase version of the Defender, known as the 130.
"Why would you buy a dual-cab ute when you see what you can put in the back of one of these—this is already a ute with a roof,” the insider said.
Although a Defender-based pickup truck would have been cool, Land Rover’s decision to bin the model doesn’t have an impact in the U.S. The new Defender is made in Slovakia, which means a pickup truck version of the SUV would have been subject to the United States’ Chicken Tax, which slaps a 25 percent tariff on all foreign-made trucks. Even with the U.S.’ insatiable appetite for pickups, a $65,000 base model Defender pickup would have been a hard sell.
Both the Defender 90 and 110 will be sold in the U.S. The 110 model is available for order now with a starting price of about $50,000. The Defender 90 will arrive sometime down the line with a slightly lower price point.