With a new generation of Defenders on the horizon, Gerry McGovern, the lead designer at Land Rover, is saying that a pickup truck variant of the highly capable four-wheeler is likely to debut not long after the smaller 4x4.
Without providing many specifics in an interview with WhatCar?, McGovern suggested the Defender pickup could be available soon after the next-gen 4x4's introduction. The interview dealt with global markets where current Defenders are sold; it is not sold in the U.S. right now.
We're guessing the 2017 date is optimistic. McGovern sees the new premium-priced Defender pickup as a competitor to the Volkswagen Amarok and global Ford Ranger. The last time we heard about the new Defender was at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, when Land Rover was showing the DC100 concept. Back then the new Defender replacements were not going to be on sale until 2016, which means any variants of the those platforms will not be available until several years after that. So a more realistic date is likely closer to 2020.
Of course, with the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado set to go on sale by the third quarter of 2014 and other global truck makers hammering at the continued existence of the "chicken tax" (the U.S.' 25 percent tax on import vehicles), interest in this category is bound to grow. And if sales of the Colorado bolt out of the gate and Congress repeals the chicken tax, who knows what will happen next.