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