Defender concept set to become all-new Land Rover
Land Rover could convert its Defender preview concept - the DC100 - into its own standalone model, which would be the cheapest in the company's range.
First unveiled during the summer of 2011, the DC100 concept was originally a design study for future development of a viable and modern successor to the iconic Defender workhorse, a rugged 4x4 popular with farmers and the military.
Earlier this month an updated version of the DC100 was unveiled to the public at the 2012 New York Auto Show, as Land Rover continues to explore design directions for a future Defender.
The final version of the all-new Defender is set to reach production in 2015, and just last week Land Rover's Brand Director, John Edwards, said it could become the company's top-selling model.
However, reports now indicate that Land Rover is now also seriously considering carrying the design of the DC100 concept onto a new separate entry-level production model.
It's been rumoured that a production version of the DC100 would likely be built as a compact crossover SUV, rather than as an all-out offroader like the Defender.
This car would share the same platform as the compact Range Rover Evoque, and measure just 4.3m long - making it a direct rival to other smaller crossovers such as the Nissan Juke, Skoda Yeti and Mini Countryman.
While the Land Rover DC100 concept shown at New York carries a V8 petrol engine, it is widely reported that final production versions will use 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel units.
These engines will be built at a new forthcoming engine factory in Wolverhampton, will be connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and will likely feature stop-start technology.
No official word on pricing has been given but it's reported a production-ready DC100 could cost in a region between £20,000 and £25,000.
This could undercut the starting price of a Range Rover Evoque and put the DC100 in a similar price bracket to the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman.