The Land Rover Defender might have all but stolen the show at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but fans holding out for a pick-up version might be waiting for some time yet, with one executive telling CarsGuide "this is already a ute with roof".
The model in question was the Defender's commercial edition, which gives owners the opportunity to delete the rear seats, transforming the iconic off-roader into a pseudo van, complete with steel wheels, blacked-out windows and space for a company's logo or branding along its flanks.
The result is something like a covered ute, or a van, and while Land Rover's executives have previously told CarsGuide they're willing to "look at and evaluate opportunities", it is understood a ute version of the new Defender simply isn't on the cards for now.
"This is already a ute with a roof," one executive told CarsGuide. "Why would you buy a dual-cab ute when you can see what you can put in the back of one of these?"
The Defender should arrive in Australia around June next year in 110 guise, and is expected to start at around $70,000. It will be followed around six month later by the smaller 90 version, which is tipped to kick off from about $60k.
The new Defender uses a new D7x platform, and three engines will be initially available in Australia - a 297kW P400 six-cylinder petrol engine equipped with mild-hybrid tech, stepping up to a 147kW D200 diesel, and finally a 177kW D240 diesel.
And in a particularly cool twist, the Defender 110 will arrive in five, six or seven-seat configurations, with customers able to option a third seat in the front row.