Next to the Mercedes G-Class, the Land Rover Defender could be one of the oldest new trucks for sale (although, you can't buy it in the U.S.). The Defender's potential replacement, the DC100 concept, represents Land Rover's most overdue refresh. Making up for lost time, Land Rover has ambitious plans for the DC100, including some state of the art technology. Some argue that the Defender started over 60 years ago with the original Land Rover Series I. In 1983, the Series III was heavily modernized, giving birth to the current Defender lineage. The two Defender types were called simply the 90 or 110, depending on wheel base length.

Land Rover HUE and DC100

The 90 and 110 were extremely capable, as was the original Series I. But, in order to achieve some serious off-road chops the Defender sacrificed on-road drivability and comfort. In the U.S., only a handful were sold. And for those who expected typical Land Rover luxury appointments inside, disappointment was inevitable. The Defender was a crude, utilitarian summit-to-safari truck. And while many enthusiasts are hopeful that character will remain, Land Rover is moving forward with something that more will enjoy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The DC100 concept takes a rich history of durable capability and injects stylish design and powerful electronics. It's something out of a James Bond film, and it has the tech to keep up.

In order to keep capability at the core of the DC100, Land Rover is considering some new (read: innovative) features. Some that are up for consideration are:

Auto Terrain Response

This is the next evolution of Terrain Response. (You may recall seeing this feature in the new Grand Cherokee or Explorer, or even a number of current Land Rovers.) Auto Terrain Response is exactly what you'd think, but the approach is unique. Using HD cameras, sensors, and a complex algorithm, the DC100 is able to automatically adjust to changing terrain. In addition, an intelligent mapping system called Terrain-i will create a 3D map using a headlamp mounted scanner that suggests the safest route when traversing difficult terrain.

Wade Aid

This system uses sonar, like a submarine, to find water depth. The system then automatically adjusts the ride height and announces a speed advisory.

On-Demand Spiked Tires

If Wade Aid weren't 007 enough, then consider driving around on ice and, with the push of a button, deploying a full set of tire spikes to keep you on your way. The spikes are housed within a second chamber of the tire that, when inflated, cause the spikes to shoot out. We can only imagine the possibilities of this technology.

The new DC100 concept offers a taste of the past, but isn't held down by it. Regardless of how much it changes, the new Defender will still be a Land Rover. And if technology is behind the improvements, then we'd say that Land Rover was successful in bringing an iconic SUV into the 21st century.

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