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First off, the picture above is NOT the next Land Rover Defender. It's a speculative image as to what we might expect to see.

Both the Jeep Wrangler and the Defender are getting major overhauls in the next few years. From what I've read the Wrangler will remain hostage to tradition, whereas the Defender likely will offer cutting edge engineering.

The Wrangler will be "safe" in that it will remain faithful to what Jeepers expect. The Defender is going to turn the apple cart upside down, and will no doubt generate tons of criticism for abandoning 60+ years of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" thinking. Not so with the Land Rover; Autocar, the UK auto website is predicting the new Defender likely will include independent suspension, something Jeepers hate. Can't wait for a face-off, which is sure to occur.

So the Wrangler is a classic case of not allowing a product to significantly evolve over the decades. As a result customers have come to believe that a Wrangler MUST adhere to a certain look. It's gotten to a point now, that if the Wrangler changes too much, Jeep fears it will lose customers. They are probably right.

Harley Davidson is in the same boat. Image trumps substance. Most of their buyers are older riders. They aren't bringing in enough younger riders to replace the older customers that have moved on. The same could be said of Porsche, but the difference here is that Porsche has always pushed the engineering envelope, thinking outside the box, not so with the Wrangler or Harley Davidson.

There's a lesson to be learned here. Products must be allowed to evolve, or else risk being stuck in the past. Some may disagree, but history has shown that new technology — and by that I mean building better mousetraps — usually wins out in the end.

Related Video:

2018 Jeep Wrangler Spied Looking More Aerodynamic | Autoblog Minute

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