It looks like an all-electric Land Rover Defender is an actual possibility in the future.
Ardent fans of the Land Rover Defender are a zealous bunch. Even the smallest of design changes send the LR faithful marching into the night with torches and pitchforks, shouting British slogans and brandishing rusty winches.
Surely, then, a shift to EV propulsion in the Defender would lead to a nation weeping into their tea in amounts not seen since the Mackintosh’s Toffo candies disappeared from shelves at Tesco.
As the lads over at Motor Authority are right to point out, this week’s press event for the new Velar included the tasty bit of information that it will offer electric or electrified powertrains in its new models starting in the 2020 model year. Leading the charge will be JLR’s Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid.
Despite confirming the Defender is definitely part of their future American lineup, no on-sale date has been revealed. If it appears on or after 2020, then, and all JLR products will have some form of electrification from that point forward, logical reasoning would lead one to extrapolate that the next Defender will – at least in part – be powered by electrons.
READ MORE: Land Rover Unveils Details of the Velar
This may be a bridge too far for die-hard Defender fanatics. Nevertheless, there is a world of difference between an electrified powertrain and an all-electric machine. The new plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport will have a 13.1kWh battery in addition to a 2.0-liter turbo four, combining to make 398 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. Such motivation would not be a bad way to go fox hunting.
Still, even if Land Rover does make a fully electric Defender, the Bollinger B1 seems to prove that the concept of electrified propulsion and off-roading need not be mutually exclusive. Most EVs (and a lot of hybrids) have the centre of gravity of a worm, thanks largely to the low-slung placement of their batteries. Off-road, where momentum is your friend, a low centre of gravity is A Very Good Thing.