The Land Rover Defender might be getting an electric little brother. According to an Autocar report, a Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) executive recently revealed some interesting details at an investor conference.
This so-called baby Defender is said to use JLR’s Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) platform and is expected to arrive in 2027. This platform will also be used for the upcoming Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Land Rover Discovery Sport — all small to mid-size sporty SUVs.
The Defender has long been Land Rover’s explorer’s SUV. The current model was introduced in 2020 and is a stark departure from the boxy original, with a sleek unibody design and an interior aimed at an up-market crowd. The upcoming EV Defender will likely follow the same cues while still emphasizing the go-anywhere, do-anything ethos of its predecessor.
A smaller, less-expensive EV Defender would likely be a hit. It would follow the hot trend of modern, adventure-ready SUVs. The Ford Bronco is one of the automaker’s most in-demand vehicles. Just last week, Toyota revealed an ultra-capable and less expensive Land Cruiser, which is only available with a hybrid power plant. Others, like Rivian’s lineup and Jeep’s plug-in Wrangler, show demand for alternative powertrain options in overlanding vehicles.
According to the Autocrat report, JLR plans to release the smaller electric Defender for the 2027 lineup.