In the next couple of years, we'll see new fully-redesigned versions of two classic (and largely unchanged for decades) off-roaders—the Mercedes G-Wagen and the Land Rover Defender. Keeping with tradition, Mercedes will stick with body-on-frame construction, but Land Rover is apparently taking a different approach. that the next-gen Defender will be based on the same unibody platform that underpins the Range Rover.
(Shown above, the final edition of the current-generation Defender)
Automotive News says that the Defender will likely use a version of the current Range Rover's aluminum-intensive platform to keep cost and weight down, and to more easily meet global safety standards. The Defender will also be powered by Jaguar Land Rover's new family of Ingenium four-cylinder gas and diesel engines. It'll probably be sold in two traditional body styles—a two-door soft top, and a four-door hardtop.
In another break from the past, Automotive News also says that this Defender will be "sold in all global markets," which would include North America. Land Rover previously imported a handful of Defenders to the US market between 1993 and 1997, but otherwise, they've been forbidden fruit for US enthusiasts.
Automotive News reports that the next-gen Defender will be possibly be shown in concept form next year, before hitting the market in 2019.