2011 Land Rover Defender X-Tech

Land Rover has taken some positive steps over the past several years by updating its product line, chiefly through improvements inside the vehicles and with evolutionary design updates on the outside. Additionally, the company has added the all-new Range Rover Evoque, which introduces the Range Rover brand to an expanded audience. Even so, there is a lot of work yet to be done by the company. We have come up with a quick “Land Rover Wish List” that outlines a variety of things we would like to see in the future.

UPDATE: 9/16/2011: We have updated our Land Rover Wish List.

Reliability and Quality Improvements 

If anything is holding back Land Rover it is the widely held perception that the company’s vehicles are notoriously unreliable. Unfortunately, this reputation is not undeserved. Most long-time Land Rover enthusiasts and owners will be the first to admit their vehicles can be somewhat cantankerous (to put it mildly). Ironically, owner satisfaction with Land Rover vehicles and the Land Rover dealership experience is rather high. If the company can combine reliability with owner satisfaction, there is no telling what the brand can do. Here’s hoping that Tata Motors has what it takes to make this happen. Update: The LR4 was recently awarded a first place finish in Strategic Vision Inc.’s Total Quality Index®.

Diesel in the U.S. 

Diesel-powered Land Rovers are common overseas, but in the U.S. they don’t exist outside of aftermarket conversions. Rumors have persisted that “future” Land Rover models with diesel powertrains will be made available in the U.S. Currently, it is speculated that we will not see an official diesel Land Rover on our shores until the 2014 or 2015 model year. So, why the delay? It essentially comes down to emissions standards and, of course, slow uptake on diesel-power vehicles outside of the pickup truck market on the part of American buyers.

Return of the Defender 

In the U.S., 1997 was the last year we saw a new Defender roll off a dealership lot. There were two major roadblocks to selling the Defender post-1997 and both were factors of safety. For the 1998 model year, new regulations that required air bags and more stringent side impact standards became active. Even so, today the Defender is just as popular as ever. For the 1997 model year, the Defender 90 had MSRPs in the $32,000.00 to $36,000.00 range. Today, thanks to their desirability and rarity, a clean low-mileage 1997 Defender 90 can run you up to $60,000.00 with “average” examples still easily exceeding their initial MSRP.

Return of the Discovery Nameplate 

A few years back some marketing folks got together and decided that Americans prefer “alphabet soup” vehicle naming structures. Hence the Discovery 3 became the LR3 and the Freelander 2 became the LR2. Fortunately, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport did not become the RR5 or some other nonsense. We would like to see the return of the original names, especially names with historical and admittedly nostalgic influences, such as the Discovery.

Two-door Land Rover Range Rover 

The Range Rover used to be available in a two-door variant and we would like to see this body style return. Now, we know that the Range Rover Evoque is technically a Range Rover and also available in a two-door (Coupe) configuration. However, it’s not quite what we have in mind. A proper two-door Range Rover would add something currently lacking in the market. A few years ago rumors of a two-door Range Rover Sport (and possibly the LR2) for the 2012 model year were going around, but the rumors were actually hinting at the Range Rover Evoque.

This rendering by RoverGuide depicts a 2011 Range Rover configured as a two-door with a slightly shorter wheel base.

2011 Land Rover Range Rover Coupe Rendering



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June 23, 2011

RoverGuide

Articles, Defender, Discovery 4

Defender, Diesel, Discovery 4, Range Rover, Reliability

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