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Land Rover concept heralds Defender update

The legendary Land Rover utility model, known at times as the 90, 110, and Defender, is being eyed for a 2015 update. A concept to be shown at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show gives an initial look at the new vehicle.

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover
Land Rover Defender DC100 concept
Land Rover is working on an update to the Defender, a model that is over 20 years old. Land Rover

Land Rover Defender DC100 concept
The concept Defender looks less utilitarian than the current model. Land Rover

In 2015, the Defender will be 25 years old, so Land Rover designers are putting down their tea and getting to work on an update. The company will show a concept for a new Defender model at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. With only four years until the production version is due, the blokes at Land Rover will barely have time for a biscuit.

The DC100 concept appears as a two-door, with rounded edges and grille that lose the welded sheet-metal hard edges of the current model. The wheels chosen for the concept look designed to appeal to first-world consumers rather than military buyers from countries created last week.

But Land Rover's long timeline for the Defender update shows a very careful approach. If the public derides this one, there is still plenty of space on the drawing board. And Land Rover says it will pay close attention to customer input as it finalizes the design.

And despite the suburban looks of the DC100, Land Rover has successfully maintained impressive off-road prowess in even the very tony and pricey Range Rover model. So expect the new Defender to keep all the utility of the old, while adding new capabilities.

The current Defender, which received a minor update in 2007 to help it comply with new safety and emissions regulations, comes in three different trims, the 90, 110, and 130. The engine is a four-cylinder turbo diesel.

The Defender model has not been sold in the U.S. since 1997, as it does not comply with current safety regulations. Land Rover has not confirmed whether the new Defender will be sold in the U.S.

Land Rover Defender
The current Defender model received an engine update in 2007. Land Rover