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Land Rover Defender: The End of the Road

January 13, 2016

Since it first rolled off the production line back in 1948, the Land Rover Defender quickly became something of a British motoring classic. Regrettably, in 2016, it’s now time to bid this iconic vehicle farewell – as this is the year in which the last Jaguar Land Rover Defender as we know it will roll off the production line.

Landrover defender

Original image by Land Rover MENA

A British Icon

More British than Eastenders, moaning about the weather and losing at cricket, the Land Rover Defender is without a doubt the most well-known British vehicle of all time. Since its conception almost 70 years ago, the original design has remained largely unchanged – and has carved out a name for itself as the motor of choice for farmers, overland adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and off-roaders alike.

Our own royal family are just some of the famous fans of Land Rover, with Queen Liz herself frequently photographed as she drives her Defender 110 around Balmoral. A star of both television and film in its own right, Defenders have featured in a variety of well-loved British favourites – from ‘Midsomer Murders’ and ‘Lewis’ to recent Bond ventures ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre.’

Fond Farewell

To say goodbye in style, in 2015 Land Rover announced the release of 3 special editions as part of their Celebration Series.

The Heritage Edition is a purist’s dream. The design is a clear throwback to the original pre-production model known as ‘Huey’, although this version has more modern comforts as standard. The ‘Grasmere Green’ colour scheme works as a wonderfully retro tribute, along with other classic touches such as tan cloth seats, a sturdy front grille and steel wheels.

The Heritage was released in both the 90 and 110 wheelbases, and with prices starting at £27,800 for the 90 – this is the most reasonably priced of the Celebration Series.

If you’re a Defender fan because of the places they’ve taken you, then the Adventure Edition may be more up your street. Described by the manufacturers as ‘expedition ready,’ this model encapsulates all that is rugged, unstoppable and hard-as-nails about the brand – paying homage to Land Rover’s role in various cross-country challenges. Pricing starts at £43,495, and for that you get a vehicle truly built for off-roading with underbody protection and optional extras like a roof-level air intake. The Adventure Limited Edition is the car that will get you there, no matter what.

The Autobiography Limited Edition offers the classic Defender experience with a more luxurious feel to it – the interior features deep-pile carpets, heated seats and gorgeous hand-finished Windsor leather. The Autobiography is not just a pretty face though, with 148 bhp and 400Nm of torque, it’s actually quicker than a standard Defender. This is the priciest of the three at £61,845 and is available in the 90 wheelbase.

Landrover defender

Original image by Land Rover MENA

Looking Forward

Although it’s with a heavy heart that we wave goodbye to this trundling national treasure, it’s time to look forward at what Land Rover will be offering up to replace it. There’s plenty of speculation as to what we can expect from Land Rover, however, it’s safe to say at this point that we just don’t know for sure.

Late in 2015, Gerry McGovern (Land Rover’s design director and chief creative officer) shed a little light on Land Rover’s new direction in general. He hinted that we can expect changes across the wider Land Rover range – with a new Discovery model becoming more aligned with typical Range Rover design. As for the Defender itself, McGovern has assured the public that we can expect the new concept to remain somewhat faithful to the original in appearance, stating ‘When this vehicle comes out, people will know it’s a Defender, it’s a modern Defender.’

Although the capability and endurance of the soon-to-be retired model is not to be sniffed at, there are definitely improvements that we can hope to see in a new prototype. Infamously uncomfortable to drive on tarmac, low on fuel economy and high on emissions – these are all classic Defender traits that we can hope to see ironed out.

Landrover defender

Original image by Land Rover MENA

Land Rover Finance

Whether you’re looking to get your hands on a special edition or a pick up a classic Defender – we can help. At The Car Loan Warehouse, we’re committed to offering flexible finance deals to suit any budget – meaning you can spend less time on securing the finance and more time off-roading. Ready to explore your Land Rover finance options? Apply online now or head over to our online car finance calculator to get a quick quote today!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.