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The new Land Rover Defender will launch next year.

An all-new Defender with styling that will appeal both to traditional buyers and a new generation of enthusiasts is "not far away," Land Rover's design head Gerry McGovern said at a recent press event.

Replacing an icon is never an easy thing, but that's just what McGovern and his team are in the midst of at Land Rover. The British automaker ceased production of the iconic Defender last year after a production run of more than 60 years.

An exact launch date for the new Defender has not been locked down, but McGovern says it's coming soon. Previous media reports have suggested the new Defender will be introduced next year as a 2019 model.

Likewise, Land Rover is keeping the design details of the next-generation Defender a secret, but McGovern told Automotive News that the new model won't just be a "facsimile" of the old truck. However, the 2019 Defender is expected to retain some heritage design cues. Overall, though, Land Rover will refine the Defender's look to appeal to a new generation of buyers.

"This was a vehicle that for a very long time was the emotional core of our brand. In order to move our brand forward we need to create desirable and relevant vehicles to appeal to a wider group of customers," McGovern said.

One thing that won't change is the Defender rough and rugged reputation. "You'll be able kick the hell out of them," McGovern said of the new range of Defender vehicles, "and they'll get up for more."