Quiet talk could be big hint about new Land Rover Defender plug-in hybrid

2015 Land Rover Defender ‘2,000,000’

Our best evidence yet of a Land Rover Defender powered by electrons surfaced this week and hinted at a 2020 arrival.

Employees at Land Rover-corporate parent Tata have posted publicly on social media about a “L663 PHEV” project due for 2020. A tipster pointed us toward a Tata engineer who reported working on next year’s Range Rover, several future Jaguar models, and the so-called “L663 PHEV” project, all by their internal code names. “L663” is the internal code name used by the automaker for the new Defender.

A spokesman for Land Rover declined to comment on this story.

Although hardly a confirmation, Land Rover hasn’t been coy about its plans for electrification and all signs point to the Defender’s inclusion in those plans.

Last year, the company announced plans to electrify every new model from 2020 on, though that will actually start with a plug-in version of the 2019 Range Rover Sport due soon.. We’ve already spied the new Defender, and it’s expected to arrive in 2020.

Deductive logic tells us that the Defender will arrive with a plug-in version. If all Land Rovers will have electrified options by 2020, and the new Defender will arrive in 2020, does that mean that the Land Rover Defender will have an electrified option?

“That’s as far as we’re willing to go with that,” Chris Marchand, executive vice president for Jaguar Land Rover North America, told last year.

That doesn’t say much but we expect to hear more soon—social media or otherwise.

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