In a now-deleted post from an unknown, private Instagram account, there it was: almost assuredly the front quarter of a mostly-built next-generation Land Rover Defender. Or, at least, a show car that’s probably close to the real deal. Since the internet is forever, you can take a look at a screenshot here.
I’m not going to cite the uploader, who I have a strong suspicion is (was?) a Land Rover employee and now undoubtedly in a lot of trouble with the boss now, and because who cares anyway.
At first this seemed like, clearly, the new Defender. But the more I look at it–there are no indicator or fog lights, the windshield wipers are weird, and it’s got, what, a Yeti cooler under the hood?
Most likely it’s a show car; a life-sized model that may be close to the production version but isn’t necessarily drivable or complete. So while it might be “real,” as in really made by Land Rover, it might not be completely indicative of the vehicle’s final design.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t take the opportunity to comment on it, and it does look pretty similar to the camouflaged mules and Lego toy leaks we’ve seen already.
What jumps out at me, for what it’s worth, is a lack of distinctiveness, if I’m honest. But I bet the vehicle will look a lot cooler when it’s all together and posed in a more off-roady context.
As it sits, it kind of looks like a toy or an economy version of the LR4/fourth-generation Discovery. Not sure what’s going on with those black strips extending the frame of the windshield on the A-pillar, but the white roof is delightful.
That, as you may or may not know, is a callback to the Defenders and off-roaders of yesteryear. Namely the era before air conditioning, when a white roof went a long way to keeping a cabin cool in the desert or jungle.
Here’s another development mule in action. It looks like the designs line up?
I did reach out to Land Rover for an official comment, but all they’d say was “Through the development of any new vehicle many design options are considered,” in an email. So, the hint being, maybe this is it, maybe not. Meanwhile, we can ponder what we think of what is probably, maybe, likely definitely the front quarter of Land Rover’s latest off-roader over the weekend.
Hat tip to JChav997!