This is the first glimpse of a new 21st century look for the Land Rover Defender – more than 60 years after it first rolled off the production line.
The Land Rover DC100, a modern interpretation of the much-loved original, will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Land Rover also confirmed that production of a new Defender, a staple part of the 4x4 production line for over six decades, is intended for 2015.
Gerry McGovern, director of design at Land Rover, said: “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide.
"This isn’t a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”
A Land Rover spokeswoman added: “This is a concept car, it is not a production vehicle. We want to use this vehicle to generate feedback; we have always said we intended to replace the vehicle in 2015.”
John Edwards, global brand director of Land Rover, added: “We are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage, while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.
“We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle.”
The last upgrade for the Defender was in early 2007, when the vehicle was revamped with a new 2.4 litre diesel engine, six speed gearbox and high sixth gear.
The vehicle has built up an international reputation over the decades, with a vast range of owners including Winston Churchill, the Royal Family and Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider movies.
Annual production of the Defender has remained consistent in recent years, with much of the demand generated by large contract orders. The model has been exported from Solihull to more than 100 countries across the globe.
The first Land Rovers in a colour other than green were introduced in 1954, and the vehicle was renamed Defender in 1990. Since 1948 1.96 million defenders have been sold and it is thought that two thirds are still in use.