2020 Defender

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,709
26
North Carolina
If they'd have worked together, these things could have happened:

1: The Ranger could have had a diesel option and an out of the gate off-pavement special with SVO slapped on the side.

2: The Defender could have had a truck frame with a modern ride quality.

3: The platform could have lead to an entire range of Defenders; some suitable for government procurement.

4: The Defender could have been simple, and yet benefit from Land Rover's computer wizardry.

5: Styling would have been much easier.

6: The Bronco might have avoided that GM/Ford 10 speed transmission... Of course, the Defender might have been stuck with it.

7: The Defender could have been offered with a manual transmission without a headache, which makes sense in some environments.

8: Ford would have had a better chance to reclaim some U.K. street cred.

That's just top of the head stuff, ignoring development simplicity and production sharing that would save everyone money and generate potential tax benefits for both companies in several nations. The list of possibilities is long, and the list of drawbacks is very, very short.

I believe Ford would have jumped at it. I also think it's likely that call to Land Rover was actually made. Even if it wasn't, this is perhaps Land Rover's biggest non-marketing blunder. Whatever. It could be a fine vehicle, but that doesn't change the fact that it could have been much easier on them, and they'd have had a shot at current, smaller government contracts worldwide.

That's essentially throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars... For what? A bunch of yuppies who still want the Range Rover anyway?

I'm looking forward to seeing their actual launch marketing, rather than more of this discount Cullinan crap they're trying.

I'm not trying to criticize the Defender, here. I'm going after Land Rover and more missed opportunities. Hell, for all I know I might end up with one.

Here's something to think about:

What if Land Rover, through that Ford partnership, became somewhat of a "universal AMG" for factory off-pavement modifications? Instead of FX4, you now have SVO. Ford and Land Rover back at it again, and this time... You can get a Rubicon SVO, as well. Land Rover could be licensing the SHIT out of their technology. Let's face it. It's fucking good.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

jim-00-4.6

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2005
2,028
3
56
Genesee, CO USA
I gave up on offroadable vehicles.
I got a compact sport sedan, because fuck it.
I don't camp or wheel more than once a year any more; the distance between "once a year" and "never" is pretty negligible.
Might as well drive a car that actually responds when I press the go pedal, and is comfortable to drive, since I drive a fair bit for work.
 

stu454

Well-known member
Callsign: KN4CBB
Dec 15, 2004
5,338
2
Atlanta, GA
It's really not as bad as I was expecting. The final decision for me will require looking over one on the lot at LR Buckhead.
13290882-7010383-image-m-112_1557405138850.jpg
 

ERover82

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2011
2,941
15
Darien Gap
Stateside, 20k is the entry price for a decent ROW runner. Also, RHD places you in the driving position it was engineered for. Much more comfortable.
 
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mgreenspan

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2005
4,381
5
Briggs's Back Yard
Wow. If you fly yourself to mainland Europe or the U.K. you can buy a running decent vehicle for cheap. Make a vacation out of it. Take time to look for vehicles. Less than $10k will get you a decent running vehicle. It won’t be completely original frame but just spend time looking at vehicles and you’ll find an acceptable one. It isn’t going to look like a freshly painted new truck but you literally have the same thing with character. Even the expensive ones drive like shit ones with new ball joints.
 

kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,709
26
North Carolina
After seeing the Discovery Commercial variant sold elsewhere, I don't think they've entirely lost their minds.

I don't know if that's just their attempt at the U.K. equivalent of a $70,000 pickup truck that can be written off, but I know what I'm seeing when I look at it. For what purpose does that exist other than some designers cleverly fooling a marketing department and trying to flex their travel creativity? That's a lot of cash to deliver anything that will fit in the cargo area.

Maybe the new Defender will be a practical all around vehicle that can go camping, take you around town, and hit some trails; even if it's not some overland must-have.

They're still hiding quite a bit under that vinyl, after all. The front end is going to be a big factor. Looking at Land Cruiser, LR3, and similar vehicles with large, single-unit front fascia designed to conceal things that can't be moved, they cause bumpers to be difficult for average fabricators to design, expensive, and ugly.

So, you have less stuff on the market to play with. If bumpers are too difficult, why build rock sliders? Why provide lift stuff beyond those Johnson rod things? If you can't even sell a bumper easily, why do anything else?

The front end matters more than any of those electronics, because if that's easy... You get an aftermarket; an aftermarket that will eventually sort any electronic issues by providing ways around them.

Take the DII traction control system. It's great when it works, but quite often it doesn't. It's not a big deal because you can just use larger tires and fancy differentials. If you don't have to rely on the new Defender's electronics to get where you need to go, they're not in the way.

An old Defender is always going to be a leaky rattle-trap. As noted before, they couldn't sell that here. I suppose they could have used live axles, but independent suspension isn't a problem so long as it's on all four wheels and you manage traction properly or have those fancy differentials.

Comes down to what you want to do. Do you want to take a thousand mile trip off-pavement tomorrow and have to turn wrenches and keep an eye on the mechanicals, or do you want to have a practical vehicle around town with a warranty and hit some trails?

I've got shocking news for some people: Trails don't require a vehicle capable of reliable, long-distance overland travel.

Cheers,

Kennith
 

mgreenspan

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2005
4,381
5
Briggs's Back Yard
I've got shocking news for some people: Trails don't require a vehicle capable of reliable, long-distance overland travel.

Cheers,

Kennith
People don’t even want that. They just want an image that portrays an idea that they go on adventures. They want to look out the window and see a tough looking vehicle that conjures thoughts of adventure. This is what JLR has been lacking with their curved lineup. Jeep figured it out and almost outsells their entire year in one month.
 
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kennith

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2004
9,709
26
North Carolina
People don’t even want that. They just want an image that portrays an idea that they go on adventures. They want to look out the window and see a tough looking vehicle that conjures thoughts of adventure. This is what JLR has been lacking with their curved lineup. Jeep figured it out and almost outsells their entire year in one month.
Only the Wrangler has that image; and it's far less of an adventure image and much more of a "play" image. I'm not convinced regulation isn't playing favorites, anyway, when it comes to that vehicle.

The rest of Jeep's lineup... Holy shit... It makes the Evoque look like a damned H1 in comparison. It's just plain junk, and you can smell it a mile away.

The Defender is likely to be constantly compared to a Wrangler over here in reviews and tests. The rest of the Land Rover lineup is so far beyond anything Jeep could dream up that it's not even fair. They have no competition for that. Indeed, nobody does.

Land Rover is still the best SUV manufacturer with a focus on off-pavement performance and a presence in the US. That's just not as impressive as it used to be, because other manufacturers gave up long ago.

The Wrangler is not an SUV. There's no sport in it whatsoever.

It is a UV. So was the Defender. Now we are finally about to see whether it still is.

Cheers,

Kennith
 
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