Land Rover Defender pick-up imagined

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RAM 1500-rivalling pick-up concept blends retro Defender capability with tough-truck visuals

The Land Rover Defender is an iconic off-road vehicle that’s been tweaked and tuned to serve a plethora of different purposes over almost 70 years, and the all-new version arrives in Australia this week.

But few have ever been as daring as this creation, a Land Rover Defender ute pitched as a rival to the full-size Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tundra and RAM 1500 pick-up trucks.

The old-school Defender 110 and 90 were retired in 2016 after nearly seven decades of service, and will be replaced by an all-new model with a more modern aesthetic and new-age mechanical underpinnings, but the classic design is still highly revered.

Indeed, several automotive companies continue to modify the classic Land Rover Defender and invest new takes on the tried-and-tested theme, as evidenced by electric off-roaders and mad supercharged V8 monsters from US company Twisted, and the BMW-engined Ineos Grenadier lookalike from the UK.

But is a full-size ute taking the humble old Defender a step too far?

Created by Andrew Alewine, this design draws inspiration from the superseded Land Rover Defender, showing off distinctive slab-sided styling and a square jaw.

Quad headlight clusters are a unique touch and the LED light bar above the windscreen adds a bit of visual zing, as do the fold-down windscreen and giant off-road tyres.

The inclusion of a snorkel suggests the artist intends it be powered by a petrol or diesel engine and not a pure-electric powertrain.

But if this gargantuan Defender ute wants to take on the likes of the F-150 and Silverado, it will need serious multi-cylinder machinery and we’re thinking at least a naturally-aspirated V8 like the circa-300kW powerplant from the Defender Works V8.

While a modern-day Defender pick-up is never likely to happen, stand by for our first Australian drive of the born-again Land Rover Defender 110 from midnight tonight.

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