JLR will reportedly expand the Defender line to include a smaller, electric model on a new platform.

    Autocar reports the long-rumoured ‘baby Defender’ will share its Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA) with the next-generation Range Rover Evoque, Velar and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

    It’s reportedly due by 2027, potentially wearing the Defender Sport nameplate.

    JLR CEO Adrian Mardell recently confirmed at an investor conference “Range Rover, Defender and Discovery brands will come off that platform”.

    The ‘baby’ Defender won’t be tiny. Autocar reports it will likely measure around 4.6m long and 2m wide, or roughly the same size as a Toyota RAV4.

    Don’t expect a combustion-powered variant. While EMA was originally touted as being “electric-first”, and therefore capable of also supporting petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, it’s now set to be electric-only.

    The ‘baby’ Defender won’t be the only electric model from JLR’s Defender brand.

    An electric version of the full-size Defender is reportedly due around 2026, but will eschew the combustion-powered model’s D7 platform for the MLA underpinnings of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

    JLR is rolling out a new ‘House of Brands’ strategy, whereby its vehicles are separated into four core sub-brands: Jaguar, Discovery, Range Rover and Defender. The Land Rover nameplate and logo is being demoted to a “trust mark”, though it may still appear on vehicles.

    Defender models are set to all feature a more rugged style than their counterparts.

    Currently, the Defender range consists of a trio of D7-based body styles: the three-door 90, five-door 110, and longer five-door 130.

    MORE: Everything Land Rover Defender

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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