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JLR Defender Sport will be a smaller electric off-roader

JLR has hinted at the development of a smaller, electrified version of the Land Rover Defender, potentially named the Defender Sport

Land Rover Defender

The electric Range Rover is due to arrive later this year, but in the meantime JLR’s CEO, Adrian Mardell, has hinted at the arrival of a new entry-level Land Rover Defender, likely sporting an all-electric powertrain.

Thought to be dubbed the “Defender Sport”, this all-new model will sit below the full-size Defender and its upcoming electric variant in the British brand’s soon-to-be drastically revamped lineup, and is designed to act as a rugged alternative to the likes of the BMW iX3, Mercedes EQC, Lexus RZ and upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron.

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We expect the new Defender Sport to imitate the same boxy silhouette as its larger sibling, but to incorporate entirely different, electric-only underpinnings. JLR has already detailed its upcoming Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) platform, stating that it’s been designed to maximise interior space, while also being capable of 800 volt charging and offering greater battery efficiency from what has been seen in the group’s only current electric car, the Jaguar I-Pace SUV.

Speaking to DrivingElectric, JLR CEO Adrian Mardell hinted the Defender Sport will make use of this new technology, stating: “We are looking at creating other vehicles within the Defender family. I would've thought by this time next Global Media Day we'll be clear on what we are comfortable with producing off EMA and when”.

The new baby Defender will come as part of a huge shakeup for the company, which has recently merged officially to become the newly-named JLR ‘House of Brands’. The Land Rover name will be retired, with Range Rover, Defender and Discovery soon undergoing the evolution from model lines into semi-standalone brands. Jaguar will also form part of this self-dubbed House of Brands where it’ll eventually become a high-end electric-only sports car marque. 

As for the Defender Sport, we can expect this model to be revealed sometime in the next couple of years, likely as one of the six battery electric (BEV) JLR models promised to arrive before the end of 2026. With it being so far away, it’s hard to estimate pricing at this point, but a starting price of around £60,000 would price the Defender Sport slightly above rivals – in-line with JLR’s continued push upmarket.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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