Vehicles | September 14, 2021 9:03 am

Land Rover Is Reportedly Working on an Even More Luxurious Defender

For when the $112,000 V8 Carpathian Edition isn't extravagant enough

A V8 Carpathian Edition Land Rover Defender SUV in black sitting in the courtyard of a castle in the UK while the sun sets in the background behind the stone walls
The Land Rover Defender was already fit for royalty. Could a more luxurious model be on the way?
Land Rover

The new Land Rover Defender is decidedly not utilitarian. Some people want it to be — generally because they have a soft spot for the boxy Series models that birthed the Defender name — but the redesigned model that debuted in 2019 is, by all accounts, a luxury SUV.

Yet, is it luxurious enough? The most affordable model, the two-door Defender 90, currently starts just under $50,000; the most expensive, the four-door 110 with an optional V8 engine and luxury upgrades dubbed the “Carpathian Edition,” starts at $112,200; and that doesn’t even include the three-row model coming next year. But according to a new report, Land Rover is working on an even more sumptuous version of their heritage overlander. 

Parent company Jaguar Land Rover is reportedly planning a luxury flagship version of the Defender that will be based on a yet-to-be-released platform that will underpin the new Range Rover, per Autocar out of the U.K. That would be the MLA (Modular Longitudinal Architecture) platform, which is designed for three types of electrification: mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid (both of which still include a gas engine) or EV-only power. (At the moment, while Land Rover does offer a plug-in hybrid Defender in some markets, U.S. buyers only have access to mild-hybrid configurations in some versions of the SUV.)

According to Autocar, which cites unnamed sources, Land Rover is hoping to spread out the new Defender’s success across a range of models in the vein of the Range Rover nameplate. With heritage names across the industry being revived as more expensive incarnations of their former selves (see: the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer) with decided success, this seems like a winning formula, at least where profits are concerned. 

There are few details about what an even more luxurious Defender could look like, but the outlet says it will have “a less rugged-style interior” (something we didn’t particularly like in our recent test drive) with “more extravagant colours, more sportily styled seats and a dashboard design that retains the high-mounted gearshifter as the main theme.”

In other words, we don’t know much. But that’s to be expected when citing whispers from anonymous sources about a vehicle with an estimated release date in the late-2024, early-2025 range.