We’ve always thought of the Land Rover Defender as one of those immortal vehicles that would keep calm and carry on amidst cleaner, greener, more sophisticated and more efficient alternatives, whatever the weather (quite literally). But Land Rover has confirmed the bad news.
“The Defender will go out of production by the middle of the decade due to legislative reasons,” a spokesperson told Automotive News Europe. He did not elaborate. Analysts consider the small sales and cost to help the iconic stalwart meet ever-tightening regulations to be the Defender-ender.
A replacement is in the pipeline, but analyst Bernstein Research believes it will not go on sale until 2019 at the earliest, citing a lack of volume and a weak business case. The 2011 DC100 concept, which was supposed to preview the future Defender, has been cancelled. Instead, “a more expensive aluminium vehicle” may sit on the current Range Rover platform, says ANE.
Although the Defender nameplate was only born in 1990, the rugged off-roader’s roots go all the way back to the original Series I Land Rover of 1948, and as such, is the carmaker’s most ‘traditional’ model. Nearly two million examples have been sold.
Well, toodle-pip, old chap; it’s been absolutely top-hole. Rest assured that your legacy will continue to trundle up and down the hills of Cameron Highlands for many more years to come.