Land Rover draws a line in the sand for the Defender

Land Rover enthusiast, MAC, bids farewell to the last of the Defender’s and hello to the new DC100.

Jaguar Land Rover has sadly announced the end of the line for the venerable Land Rover Defender with production scheduled to halt this year after a near 67-year production run, if you consider the original Series 1 to be a part of its lineage. Seen by most to be the granddaddy of all SUV’s, the Defender started from a humble drawing in the sand on Red Wharf Bay near Anglesey in Wales. Legend has it that brothers Spencer and Maurice Wilks were on holiday there in 1947 when they fantasized about creating a vehicle for their employer, Rover Cars, that could go anywhere. And so was born the Land Rover Series 1 Farm Vehicle.

When those fateful lines in the sand were drawn, the UK was still reeling from the effects of the Second World War and post-war rationing was making it tough to get raw materials for any construction, yet alone a car which was a luxury item. So the brothers Wilks set about designing a utility vehicle using as little steel as possible; hence the use of an aluminium/magnesium alloy called Birmabright for most of the body work and army surplus green paint. As the Defender prepares to drive quietly into its own sunset, Land Rover is treating us to some quite exotic Run-Out Specials. These limited edition and limited availability specials start at a bargain price of just £27,800 for the Heritage edition (available only in Cashmere Green as pictured below), £43,495 for the Adventurer and £61,845 for the Autobiography, which many may feel a little pricey for a Defender but it does come with an upgraded engine and full leather interior. Just 80 Autobiography editions, 400 Heritage’s and 600 Adventurer’s will be made and then, that is it!

(From left to right) The Autobiography, the Heritage and the Adventurer.

To date, more than two million Land Rover’s have been produced and the company claims that 70% of all of those are still on the road. Unfortunately, the Spartan nature of what is essentially a farm vehicle has been taking a toll on sales of late and most of the recent ones sold are being bought with the knowledge that they soon will become unavailable. The good folks who are currently running Jaguar Land Rover have decided that the icon must die, but they have already announced that another vehicle sharing a similar heritage will rise phoenix-like from the ashes.

So all you Land Rover die-hards, stop your gnashing of teeth and wailing; there will be life after the Defender for the great British institution after all, and what a life it promises to be!

The new ‘Defender’ or DC100, as it is currently being called, promises to be long on luxury and short on austerity. The aim of the company is to get it closer to the Range Rover in terms of refinement, utilising the now familiar JLR monocoque chassis with ample amounts of aluminium in the bodywork and many cowhides adorning the interior. The ethos for the new DC100 is to combine the world-class mechanical durability and off-road ability with modern-day standards of cabin refinement and luxury. It’s got me drooling already; I can’t wait to get my hands on one to review it!

Land Rover DC100…if I can stop drooling long enough I may get my chequebook out and pre-order one.
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