i didnt hear if they are using live axles or not. also call me old school but im not really liking the design on these. much rather perfer the look of older defenders.
I actually quite like the look of these, not as a direct Defender replacement, but as something else. That said, the picture the op has posted is the long dead DC100 concept, so I doubt it has anything to do with a new Defender now. Those concept vehicles are just re-bodied Range Range Rover Sports, completely for show, although would go as well as an RRS would on or off road.
Personally I think it will be a crying shame if they don't stick with the live axle. Not that I have anything against the air IFS/IRS. But in order for the independent system to compete with a live axle off road, it requires complex cross linked air springs and fancy electronic controls.
All this adds complexity, weight and cost. It works brilliantly on the Disco/RR models because they are pitched higher up the market, and is absent on the Freelander/Evoque/Disco Sport which only use coil independent, because those vehicles are intended for more on road than off road use.
But the Defender should still have a high degree of utility use. So shouldn't be premium luxury car money to buy, or to maintain. A live axle is proven to work brilliantly off road and more than acceptable on road. In fact, I suspect that 95+% of people wouldn't be able to tell a live axle from an IFS one on the road with only the steering wheel to tell you. Which makes it a pretty poor point of view that IFS is really that much superior.
In the UK, the largest market for the Defender, many look like this:
And are used as proper work vehicles, day in and day out. I live in a fairly densely populated part of the UK, yet every day I still see plenty of Defenders working for a living and being used as a utility truck.
If the bosses at JLR have over looked this vital role, then shame on them. Keep it simple, keep it effective at what it does.