Have to think that today's high prices are one factor in the declining auto sales numbers, discontinuance of models, closures of plants and layoffs. Jaguar Land Rover is not immune to that reality. Project Change and Project Accelerate are marketing euphemisms for all of those responses to falling demand.
This is what was said when they pulled out with the first Defender. It sure seems a lot easier to adapt for air bags (as they did with the disco) than to kill the golden goose. Other countries and military contracts don’t care about airbags either. A parallel path makes a lot more sense. Tata seems none too pleased with the situation.
Another way to think about all of this........ So, I've been watching these threads here and on other forums- watching videos of traction control, terrain management, air bag suspension and Toyota KDSS vs lockers and sway bar disconnects and solid axles and springs- another way to state this is roughly "electronic" vs "mechanical." These are not perfect categories as there's a lot of blending between the two. After all- even a Jeep Rubicon's lockers and sway bars are electronically engaged/disengaged. The electronic fans brag about the leaps in technology, how sophisticated it is, how easy it all is-you just push a button- how comfortable it is to drive to the trail on air bags- inflate them to get over obstacles, then lower them to get home at 70+ mph and admittedly videos of modern Range Rovers off road- that is, really off-road, (which are hard to find), are very impressive- Point and Shoot really. The mechanical guys and girls talk about reliability. After all, springs on axles with lockers have been making things go for over 100 years. Everyone talks about how great their side is and truth be told I've been stuck. I've owned a CJ7, a TJ and now a Grand Cherokee WK2. The WK2 was my wife's and honestly I discounted it off-road. I've been waiting on late 2020, early 2021 when the new Defender and Bronco will be out- Toyota will have likely redesigned their Land Cruiser and 4Runner and I'm wondering what Jeep will do to respond. So I'm buying one of them and I'm saving money and researching all I can in the mean time. I'm using the WK2 as much as I can considering it has no lift and basically all-terrain tires on 20" wheels. I've actually been very impressed- it's rear locker- Quadra-Drive 2 transfer case and front traction control have not done bad at all in the Colorado back-country. Normally I'd dismiss all the electronic stuff, but the WK2 really has made me take a second look at these systems. I still have one very big problem though.....
I hate that all of this electronic gadgetry moves you further and further away from controlling the vehicle. I find myself increasingly turning off as much of that stuff as I can. My CJ7 was outstanding because your feet were dancing between the clutch, brake and gas- your hands were full with the steering and rowing the gears- when you weren't choosing either 4H or 4L as well. You felt a part of the vehicle. It was visceral- part of the reason I like off-roading in the first place. I saw a video that Land Rover is working on a system where if 2 vehicles are in a convoy and the 1 in front goes over or through an obstacle it will then send information to the vehicle behind it as to what gears, ride height, torque, speed etc... to use. My first thought was - how terrible is that? Why would you ever want that? At what point does your SUV just become a real-life video game in a steel or aluminum box moving through the great outdoors as you passively sit behind the wheel? Part of what I enjoy so much is the challenge, picking the right speed, getting out of my vehicles and finding the right line up a hill. It feels like I'm an explorer- overcoming a challenge, making progress through the outdoors. Philosophically I like the way Jeep Wrangler approaches it- you are the terrain management system- Land Rover seems to want to remove you further from having any input at all- just a disengaged rider as your trusty steed figures out for you which way you should go. It seems like you lose something doesn't it?
There have been a few very vocal voices on here advocating for all the benefits of all the traction control tech and how time marches on etc... So I ask you- what do you think about this? Do you feel you are being further removed from the decision making, solving the puzzle of man and his/her machine overcoming the great challenge? Where would you draw the line? What if one day the Land Rover Defender is something you get to and punch in a GPS coordinate to the top of a mountain trail and it just takes you up there without you ever touching any controls- would you enjoy that? Is that even "off-roading"?