Land Rover is expected to finally show off the new Defender sometime this year as part of the brand's 70th anniversary celebration. But there is already talk about adding more variants, one of those being a pickup.
Autocar reports that Land Rover will launch this model in 2020 to go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota HiLux, and others. Unlike most trucks that offer a range of cab styles, the Defender pickup will only be offered as a regular cab. This is due to the Defender's unibody structure as it is easier to adapt a regular cab layout then a crew cab. Engines are expected to be 2.0L gas and diesel engines from Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium family.
Land Rover is expected to offer a wide range of specifications from a spartan work truck to a very luxurious to take on the X-Class. The model is expected to be sold in Europe, Africa, South America, and the U.S. The last one is interesting as the majority of pickups sold in the U.S. tend to be extended or crew cabs, which could hurt the Defender pickup if it arrives.
Infiniti announced earlier this year that it would begin to electrify their lineup beginning in 2021 with the launch of their first electric vehicle. But Infiniti doesn't have a platform that can easily accommodate the batteries and electric motors.
Today at Auto China, Infiniti announced plans to develop a new electrified platform that will be inspired from the Q Inspiration Concept shown at Detroit earlier this year.
"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification. We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space," said Infiniti Chairman and Global President Roland Krueger.
We got a hint that Infiniti was planning an electrified platform earlier this month when Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon mentioned the redesign of the Q50/Q60/Q70 had to be pushed back due to work on a new platform.
The platform will underpin a new electrified vehicle that will be one of five vehicles Infiniti will be built in China over the next five years.
INFINITI confirms new electrified vehicle platform influenced by Q Inspiration concept car
An electrified platform based on Q Inspiration concept car will go into production within the next five years
Sedan will be manufactured in China at a location to be announced
Q Inspiration shows INFINITI's new design form in an era of advanced powertrains and technologies
BEIJING – INFINITI Motor Company today announced it is developing an all-new electrified vehicle platform influenced by the stunning Q Inspiration concept car. INFINITI will produce an electrified vehicle on this platform, one of five new vehicles it will build in China over the next five years.
INFINITI Chairman and Global President Roland Krueger made the announcement today at a special Auto China preview event at the INFINITI Brand Experience Center in Beijing.
"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification. We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space," said Krueger.
Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
"The Q Inspiration concept car takes the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for INFINITI models."
-Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director
The Q Inspiration cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. Advanced powertrains have liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of traditional powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.
INFINITI is also reconfirming the company's commitment to electrification. For Chinese car-buyers, this translates into vehicles with increased performance and fuel economy with reduced emissions.
Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there.
According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022.
“Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment.
Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap.
“As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce.
Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon.