Land Rover may be planning a $33,000 small SUV based on Defender
Fresh off the reveal of the new version of its 2020 Defender SUV, a new report suggests that Land Rover could be planning an entry-level small SUV priced around $33,000, plus a battery-electricluxury version of the Defender with a price in the six figures.
British site Autocarreports that the entry-level Land Rover is envisioned at around £25,000, which equates to $32,880 at current exchange rates, and is targeting a 2021 arrival date. If true, that would make it the lowest-priced Land Rover model, slotting below the Discovery Sport in the company’s lineup of SUVs. As for the high-end Defender, it would reportedly come with sharper and leaner styling and a super-luxe interior and be called the Defender Sport, but not be ready for a reveal for four more years.
Despite offering a detailed report, Autocar does not say anything about the sources of its information. When contacted for comment by Autoblog, a Land Rover spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on speculation about future products, adding "we’re confident that the Defender family we have launched will meet the needs of every customer out there no matter how varied their requirements."
Styling on the entry-level Land Rover would reportedly hew to the new Defender and reference the brand’s original model. Ditto the interior. It’s not known yet how the vehicle would be branded, since the new Defender will be positioned higher in the market, with the four-door Defender 110 starting at $50,925, including destination fee, when it goes on sale in the spring and the smaller Defender 90 two-door likely a bit lower when it hits next fall.
It’s said that upcoming CO2 regulations in the European Union are driving the need for a smaller ‘ute to offset the gas-guzzling mix of large and heavy SUVs in Land Rover’s lineup. It would reportedly ride atop a modified version of a platform developed by parent company Tata that could accommodate a small battery pack, meaning plug-in hybrid variants paired with the 1.5-liter three-cylinder Ingenium engine could be part of the mix.
Though much remains unknown about Land Rover’s plans, it’s not hard to see a market stateside for a smaller Land Rover that could compete with popular small SUVs like the Jeep Cherokee, Toyota RAV4 and even the comparably priced Volvo XC40.