The Defender won't be excluded from JLR's electrification plan.
Jaguar - Land Rover (JLR) recently announced every vehicle it develops starting in 2020 will be electrified in one form or another. The push started with the Range Rover Sport P400e, and it will include the next-generation Defender.
It's important to point out electrified doesn't mean all-electric. The Defender could merely get a 48-volt mild hybrid system, or it could receive a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances. Land Rover certainly won't release key information this far away from the model's launch, and Motor Authority has learned even some of the company's executives don't know what to expect from decision-makers.
The publication points out electrification could boost the Defender's off-road prowess. The battery pack would add more weight down low, where it's needed most, while the electric motor would provide the instant torque needed to effortlessly crawl over rocks.
The next-generation Defender is expected to debut either in late 2018 or early 2019, and it will go on sale globally shortly after. That time frame suggests some of the variants built early in the production run could offer carry-over gasoline- and diesel-burning engines from Land Rover's current portfolio instead of the new gasoline-electric powertrains the brand will gradually roll out.
Note: last-gen Defender pictured. Photos by Ronan Glon.