After 67 years of iconic production, Land Rover has hit two million Defenders.
In celebration of this monumentous feat, a special edition Defender will be unveiled at Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, it will then do a number of public appearences before heading to auction at Bonhams in December with all proceeds donated to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and the Born Free Foundation.
A map of Red Wharf bay, where the original Land Rover was drawn in the sand – will be engraved onto a plaque fitted to the aluminium fender. Complementing the plaque is a ‘2,000,000’ badge sitting on the rear of the vehicle. Harking back to the first pre production Land Rover, dubbed ‘Huey’ HUE 166, this special edition Defender will wear ‘S90 HUE’ number plates.
Inside, the 2,000,000 badges are carried over, with logos sticthed into the headrests and ‘Red Wharf bay’ graphics adordning the leather seats and a plaque signed by everyone who helped assemble the vehicle is fitted to the driver’s plinthe.
Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Over 67 years, the Series Land Rover and in turn Defender has been the transport of choice for explorers, charity organisations, farmers and even royalty.
Starting off life as a sketch on a beach in Wales in 1947, one of the greatest off-road vehicles was born. The Land Rover. Originally built to fill a market gap, the Land Rover changed the world in regards to off-road vehicles. In honour of the success of the global brand, Land Rover has released three special editions of the Defender in 90 and 110 guises before production ends in December 2015.
The Heritage Edition
Inspired by early models and the original Land Rover ‘HUE 166’, it adds modern creature comforts to a vintage design. Distinguished by its special Grasmere Green paint work with contrasting white roof. A heritage grille and HUE 166 graphics also identify the model. It will be made available in showrooms by August in a limited number of 400 examples for the UK with prices starting at £27,800.
As of late, most SUV owners barely take their car out of the city let alone off-road. Land Rover have taken note and have created the Autobiography model which is said to be more powerful, more luxurious and more comfortable than any other Defender to come before it. Identifiable by its unique duo-tone paint work, windsor leather interior and increased power and torque output. Only 80 of these will be made available in the UK and only in the 90 station wagon guise. Don’t expect to see any of them getting muddy as they start at £61,845.
When Maurice Wilks first created the Land Rover, its sole purpose was to conquer any terrain and the Adventure Edition wants to celebrate that attitude. Fitted with heavy-duty under body protection for the side sills and sump as well as Goodyear MT/R tyres allow the driver to push the boundaries that little bit further. Fitted with a leather interior, unique Adventure decals and three distinct colour variations. The Adventure edition carries the Defender Expedition Roof rack, rear access ladder and is fitted with a snorkel for deep water wading. 600 models will be available in the UK in both 90 and 110 station wagon guises starting at £43,495.
Even though the Defender’s production run will come to a close after 67 years, many of them will be running for generations to come.
At the heart of everything Land Rover was the Defender. 2015 is the year it is to be replaced after 67 years of production. The question that is on everyone’s lips is how is Land Rover going to make the DC100 concept as popular as the model it is replacing?
Since 1948, when the first Land Rover rolled off the line it was constantly being tinkered with and evolving to make it a better off-road vehicle. 67 years down the line, EU regulations brought down the ‘guillotine’ on the Defenders’ long and illustrious career. Stringent emission regulations to come into force by 2020 have forced Jaguar Land Rover to stop production of the beloved Defender and start work on its replacement.
Throughout the years iconic models have been recreated by all types of manufacturers such as BMW bringing back the Mini, Volkswagen with their beloved Beetle and Fiat with the beautifully small cinquecento or 500. All three of these models were given time to be remembered as cult classics and left as memories in people’s minds before returning as the recreations you see on the road today. The secret to their success, in recreating the cult classics is by giving them a new lease of life but also staying close to what made the original models great. When the Fiat 500 was released in 2007, the new model was not trying to push the original into the shadows. The company embraced its resemblance and used it in a lot of its marketing campaigns.
It is known that Land Rover will be following three pillars for their design strategy; Leisure, luxury and Dual Purpose. Will the Defender replacement fit in to the Leisure pillar or will it fall under the Dual Purpose category?
John Edwards, Global Brand Director for Land Rover said, “The entire Land Rover team is excited about the opportunity, and the responsibility, of creating the replacement for the iconic Land Rover Defender. Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market.”
One thing is for sure, the Defender replacement will need to be rugged enough to handle all terrains but also easy enough to fix without having to take it to a professional. That is what made the Defender so great for all these years.The ethos at Land Rover design are based around four key elements for the Defender replacement;
Functionality allowing a new approach to the design and capability of the vehicle but also including clever features that are not usually found in a rugged Defender such as flexible seating.
Sustainability: by using recycled and lightweight materials that ensures the vehicle will survive the test of time also plays back to the original Land Rover where by the company used aluminium which was surplus during war-torn Britain.
Premium Durability: All choices for the DC100 were specifically achieved through attention to detail and after 67 years of evolution by its predecessor.
Desirability: Again after 67 years of production, Land Rover know that the replacement must deliver an ownership experience that will not blow your mind but also be comfortable in all walks of life.
If the DC100 is to follow the concept, we can see that it will be available with an automatic gearbox with most modern luxuries seen on most of the Range Rovers available today, including systems such as ‘wade assist’ which alerts the driver on how deep the water is around the vehicle.
John Edwards, said the new model would be “instantly recognised” by people who drive the current vehicle but it “won’t necessarily be cheap”. Will that sway potential buyers to look at the competition?
The DC100 prototype has two designs, one known as the DC100 sport allowing the owner to actively express freedom and leisure and the DC100 which demonstrates its capability and versatility as an off-road vehicle. These two models will be used for leisure activities along with also the basis to modify for use by armies, Police forces and humanitarian aides. Will it be as successful as the vehicle it is going to replace?
After my last post of the wrecked super car, I started to get chills looking at a lovely machine smashed up into a box so I thought it was only fitting for this post to be about a new machine.
Landrover have been gracing our roads and our fields for over 60 years first launched in 1948. It was updated in the 1980s with the 90,110 and 127 referring to its lengths in inches.
After 60 years dominating the market for rugged off roaders, they are getting an update due to be released in 2015. Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Director of Design, says: “Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. The DC100 isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.”
it looks a little too modern for me to make it as a rugged off roader that can handle the wear and tear of life for over 60 years. there are still LandRovers on the road today from the 1940s that actually run better than some of the new cars today.
But as all car manufacturers have been pushing for fewer emissions, it was only time for the gas guzzling, coal-burning to drive its last drive to its grave.