Junior Land Rover Defender on course for 2027 reveal
Positioned below the Range Rover Evoque, the tentatively named Defender Sport is unlikely to utilise a combustion engine as its method of propulsion.
Land Rover Defender will gain a smaller sibling, rumoured to be called Defender Sport, in 2027. Image: JLR
Land Rover’s interest in introducing a smaller version of the Defender, known until now as the Defender Sport, appears on track to become a reality, albeit two years later than projected.
Back in 2018, Britain’s Car Magazine reported that the “junior Defender” would be introduced in 2025 below the Defender 90 as Land Rover’s version of the Range Rover Evoque that serves as the premium division’s entry-level model.
No further details were divulged apart from it being on-road focused and therefore lacking a low range transfer case similar to the Evoque.
According to the latest claims by Britain’s Autocar, the “Defender Sport” will take up station below the next generation Discovery Sport, but only in 2027 and mounted on the brand-new EMA all-electric platform.
One of three models that will use the foundation set for introduction in 2026 by now the renamed JLR brand, the “Defender Sport” is anticipated to slot-in below the Evoque when it goes on-sale, and according to Autocar, measure 4.2 m in overall length, two metres wide and less than 1.8 m tall.
As a comparison, the present day three-door Defender 90 measures 4.6 m long, 2.1 m wide and nearly two metres tall whereas the five-door Evoque has an overall length 4.4 mm, a width of 2.1 mm and height of 1.7 mm.
Proper “Land Rover”
Unlikely to offer a combustion engine given its platform, the Defender Sport, according to JLR, will remain true to the brand’s off-road heritage as an “explorer vehicle” despite its intended range positioning.
This is according to JLR’s drector of marketing Andrew Bradbury, who told Autocar: “It’s an explorer’s vehicle, it’s always pushed boundaries, it’s always physically allowed you to do things no other vehicle can. It’s about that spirit of embracing the impossible, and it has been like that for 75 years.”
“Even the smallest entrant into the family will embody the rugged, go-anywhere ethos that made the Defender a household name.”
More details likely
For now, known details relate to the EMA platform being an 800-volt architecture and capable of producing as much as 350 kW, according to Autocar.
Once in production though, outputs are likely to vary and potentially, without coming in range of the mentioned figure in order to avoid overlapping with future electric Discovery and Defender models.
Expect more details to be unearthed or even confirmed heading into 2024.