The all new Land Rover Defender is all set to find a new manufacturing assembly plant at Tata Motors plant in Pune, Maharashtra. The plant is scheduled to begin manufacturing the vehicle soon. It seems strange that the Land Rover Defender, which was listed to be phased out by 2015 due to EU regulations and later got a reprieve till 2017, will set shop in Pune.
So, could we expect a radically changed iconic vehicle? Though the European Union has relaxed its emission rules, this vehicle can only have a mass sell (as far as Europe is concerned) if it conforms to EU standards. As far as India is concerned, it remains to be seen if this vehicle will have an all new eco-friendly engine or not. As a part of the reverse CKD system, some of the other models would be sent back to Europe. Incidentally, Land Rover manufactures Freelanders in India for mass consumption in Asia.
The Asia Pacific market is a strong pull for the Defender and hence, manufacturing this vehicle in India would cut down on costs and make it more affordable for European markets as well.
The Defender scheduled to be launched in 2015 will have a full body frame edifice, by far a much better construction of the old monocoque design. This body would improve the overall dynamics of the vehicle and give it better controls, stability and comfort. It is also by far a safe bet to assume that the Defender will have a much lighter T5 ladder armature and would resemble Land Rover latest DC100 conception. Also on the anvil are changes to lights, grilles and wheels with better indoor styling.