Defenders of the faith

When the first real pics of Land Rover DC100 concept were released last week, there were instant catcalls of its betrayal of Land Rover's core beliefs.

The truth is that sales of the most down-home Landy on the market and a mainstay of utility stalwarts like military and agricultural clients the world over have been spiralling downward.

With the premium SUV and family wagons market cornered in the Range and the Disco, as well as the Freelander entry level SUV having sold well, the (hugely profitable) Jaguar Land Rover company are looking to update the core.

Sure, it might look like Skoda's Yeti from the side, and there's a predictable rounding off, Freelander-ish aspect to the general sketch of the concept.

This release is of course just the first stage of a development that is destined to produce a production replacement for the Defender in 2015, but you can image the sort of thing that will result.

For our money, though, our favourite re-imagined offroader of the last few years has been Toyota's retro hacker the FJ Cruiser (above). The FJ takes a very appealling reference to the original FJ Landcruisers, and updates the aesthetic for today perfectly.

Not sure if the FJ Cruiser has sold as well as the new Defender would need to, but hey. We're just offering our humble design-centred opinion.

What do you think?