News : Land Rover Defender to be scrapped?

Keith Adams

Land Rover Defender under threat?

Land Rover Defender under threat?

The Defender is probably the most recognisable new car you can buy today, and like the Mini and the Jaguar E-type has become a British icon. That it’s actually still for sale at all given how useless it is as a road car is a genuine miracle – but that’s because it’s still an awesome off-roader, and commands huge respect with those who need mug-plugging ability across the globe. But it seems that there’s a possibility that the miracle may end within a few short years… according to AutoExpress magazine.

In an interview with the magazine, Colin Green said on the matter of the Defender’s replacement and continuing procrastination from the company: ‘If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons, and in that sense it’s a tremendous responsibility.’ The car is compliant with EU regulations until 2016, but according to reports, it’s unclear as to whether the company will invest in a new model to take the entry-level Land Rover line beyond this point.

In reality, the Defender’s survival beyond 2016 will centre on an all-new car that pays homage to the original, but which will be based upon the Freelander or Range Rover Sport platform. Green continued: ‘Another option is to carry on the current model using Euro VI engines. A third is that we abandon that section of the market. It’s our least preferred choice because we have serviced that customer base for a long time, but there’s no point in servicing the customer and not the business. We have to make money and all three options are on the table.’

Land Rover has had several attempts at replacing the Defender/Series cars in the past, most notably the SD5 project from the 1970s, but they have come to nought due to finance issues, alternative priorities, and a programme of continued development has managed to keep the old car fresh enough to continue attracting buyers. The current car is certainly labour intensive to build, and an all-new, streamlined car, aimed at the same market sector would probably please Land Rover bosses more than any other.

We’ll see how it plays out in the coming months.

[Source: AutoExpress]

Posted in: AROnline News, Defender
Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

58 Comments on "News : Land Rover Defender to be scrapped?"

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  1. Eamonn says:

    Fingers crossed that a viable way forward can be found for this icon.

    We know what SD1, SD2 and SD3 are and now SD5 – so what was SD4?

  2. Dennis says:

    Surely the best option for this would be to produce it in say India where labour costs are cheaper. The problem is they’re so labour intensive to produce which makes them lack profit.
    Probably their biggest civilian market is utility companies, who buy them as a business tool rather than for style. Strangley though in the UK most local authorities, police etc seem to buy Japanese. If you go to France though, they nearly all have Defenders. Possibly it’s down to the way authorities and leasing companies work here, they renew vehicles at say 5 years or X miles regardless of condition. When actually you can run a defender for much longer than that because they’re easier to repair and the ally body stays smarter for longer in a working environment. The bean counters don’t seem to get that though, they just treat this kind of vehicle the same as they would a Mondeo.

  3. Adrian says:

    I’m suprised it’s lasted for as long as it has – the old mainstay of sales to third world markets have long since disappeared after it decided it preferred the Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan Patrol instead..

  4. Waynos says:

    I remember an Auto Express “reveal” back in the 90s that talked of a protype of an all-new replacement for the Defender. Any info on this car?

  5. Paul says:

    Proper car magazines (as opposed to Autoexpress)are predicting that the Defender will be replaced, but it wil be a rather different car. Something more akin to a Toyota Landcruiser and that it will be closely related to the next Discovery.

  6. Chris Lane says:

    The company I work for has lots of Landies. They usually keep them from 10 or 11 years before changing them. At that time they are well serviced and tired. But very usable few are seen locally in private hands. They are now having toyota hilux’s ilo ford ranger’s. I see it will be a hard job for Land Rover to design a new Defender to replace the old one.

  7. JonBoy says:

    nah, will never happen, the LR Defender will not be discontinued, it has too much kudos around the world and it does make a profit, if they use another platform, and give it a few creature comforts like, sound deadening, better insulation and more ergonomically designed interior, as long as they leave it to basics, it will succeed, as long as they do not go down the build em cheap and flog em expensive route, all should be good

  8. Will says:

    The Defender is an icon, but a very long in the tooth icon at that.

    The replacement has been on the cards for a while, it can’t hold on forever in today’s crash-test carbon-neutral motoring world. In fact, it was only sold in the US with an external rollcage for a couple of years and then couldn’t meet compliance.

    Hopefully they will ensure that the replacement is fit for purpose – rugged but basic, and not some jumped up poorly executed SUV with round headlights to look ‘retro’ a la BINI.

    With Africa, Asia, Australia etc. preferring Land Cruisers / HiLuxes, perhaps LR could tie up with Toyota, co-working on the next Land Cruiser platform but with a more utilitarian theme to the body and interior. Also, the rights to the chassis to build custom vehicles.

    (I also wouldn’t pay much heed to AutoExpress reporting. Every other month seems to be a “NEW CAPRI” exclusive based on some idle 3 door Focus rendering, and the lead news is usually regurgitated press releases of some slightly different spec on a BMW.)

  9. David 3500 says:

    There have been numerous attempts to replace this model over the years, but none have come to fruition. As Colin Green rightly says, if they get its replacement wrong it would be a disaster for one of the motor industry’s biggest surviving icons.

    It is a shame that Land Rover cannot update the Defender with technology such as airbags, to meet safety legislations in North America where it used to sell well. However,in recent years, there have been updates to how the vehicle is assembled, particularly to some of the body panels to make them less labour intensive.

    The Defender competes in an important sector of the market, although the likes of Ford, Mitsubishi and Toyota with their pick-ups, have expanded it further. Land Rover has not been active in retaliating but has simply relied on the iconic status of the Defender.

  10. Will says:

    Most of the farmers around here haven’t purchased proper base spec Defenders for a while now. Those that continue to buy them, tend to spec them up as much as possible and use them almost exclusively off the farm as everyday family transport. Alas, there’s always an old Hilux kicking around somewhere that you can use for the heavy stuff. I suspect in many cases they’re purchased simply because it would not be the done thing to be seen in a Freelander or, God forbid, an Evoque!

  11. Michael says:

    The defender does exactly what people want it to. Why do we have to comply with eu regulations. It should be up to each individual country to decide on there onw regulations. The Defender saves lives across the globe. The army uses them, fire service, coastguard, mountian rescue, city and rural,charity organisations. The defence will do exactly what you need it to do, when you need to do it. There is no other vehicle that can compete this is the only real 4×4.

    Save the Defender keep it exactly as it is. The cabin should have 2 option industrial, and domestic for the people who want all the gadgets.

    FIRST & ONLY CHOICE THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER THE BEST & ONLY REAL 4X4. THE ONLY VEHICLE TO DO ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS & TERRAIN.

    BRITISH ICON, BRITISH DESIGN, BRITISH BUILT, BRITISH LEDGEND SAVE THE DEFENDER!

  12. Andrew Elphick says:

    Sad but Natural selection. Nothing more, nothing less.

  13. JonBoy says:

    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN…………… 🙂

  14. AJ says:

    Land Rover have rested on their ‘Series and Defender’ laurels for too long, they were caught napping by the Japanese and their response? Stick some tacky plastic trim on what was, and still should be classic British 4 x 4 workhorse. I’m still running a 17 year old Defender that plastic bits of trim drop off and still leaks rainwater like the day it was new. Before that it was a Series 2 and even a Series 1. In fact I have never been without a Land Rover of one model or another since 1972. Land Rover needs to address the large number of trivial but hugely irritating faults that let down the otherwise superb engineering. How much does it cost to fit rear lights that don’t shake their bulbs out of their pathetic plastic holders? And is it really impossible to create door seals that don’t leak? Why is it impossible to change a Defender starter motor in the field* without employing a troupe of Albanian circus contortionists? It’s these small but vital issues that stops people buying Land Rover and make them go for Japanese town tractors that have comfy seats and lights that work.

    But sadly Land Rover hasn’t learnt, and if we loose the Defender we owe it to dissatisfaction over inattention to details that other manufacturers addressed decades ago. But, and here’s an interesting point, have a look at the vast range of upgrades and modifications made and successfully sold by a range of companies who make proper seats (and seat adjusters!), real, instead of toy lights, a rear wiper cover that is tougher the original ones that make Tesco’s packing for frozen shrimps look like NASA engineering. The list of products to replace the Defenders pathetic secondary components is endless; you can even get a non Land Rover manufactured galvanized chassis off the self. But do those guys who are responsible for design at Solihull ever take notice of these products, items which self evidently point out the glaring defects in the Defenders specification? Tata, or whoever owns Land Rover this week, do you want to save the Defender, make some series profit, and moreover get top notch customer satisfaction? Here’s how, let a team of experienced and dedicated Land Rover owners run the show for a while, the result would be a true world beater.

    *you may like to read my other comments re taking a Defender Abroad:

    http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/2011/07/25/drive-story-land-rover-defender-stonehenge-to-london/comment-page-1/#comment-20251

  15. Hilton Davis says:

    Yes the Defender is an icon and it would be sad to see it discontinued. I’m sure there is still a market for a replacement especially for those drivers who are not Premiership Footballer’s driving expensive Range Rovers.

    The photos shown here of recent Defenders still have a modern look to them – OK not as modern as the Freelander or new Evoque but thats not the intention – is it?

  16. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    Got to happen one day. The Beetle, 2CV and Mini seemed like they would last forever but never did. A replacement based on the Disco would seem like a sensible, economical idea.

  17. will101 says:

    Another 4×4 thats been on the go a long time is the Mercedes G-Wagon of 32 years, nothing next to the Defenders time but its a close rival.

    It too could end up being replaced with something on a crossover platform! or maybe not after the current EU regulations its still in Production until 2015 well according to wiki?.

  18. yme402 says:

    I remember similar discussions 12-15 years ago about how the MINI should be replaced – and fairs fair, look at the success BMW made of that…..
    JLR need a little ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ and invest their time and resources into how they can fully update the L/R into a 21st re-incarnation of the original. The BMW MINI has been so well done, you could argue that it has been the ‘halo’ effect of this car that has sent values and interest in the original classic MINI through the roof.
    Come on TATA – you can do it (you certainly have the money.)

  19. Dennis says:

    I think the main benefit with the Defender is the body is easy to fix and frankly no one takes notice of a dented Defender, but a battered Hilux looks terrible…

    Also i think the Defender is about the only 4×4 i know of that you can just hose out when it gets mucky. All the others i can think of have a conventional footwell the water and mud collects in.

    Of course you can ignore EU regs and legislate a design domestically, but then you’d only be able to sell it in the UK…. Not really much of a market.

  20. David Dawson says:

    I would want to see any replacement being very, very close to the original in terms of styling, image, purpose. The new car would want to be a modern version of the original, a bit like Mark I to Mark II Renault 5.
    Don’t want to sound like I’m stuck in the past, but surely Land Rover won’t be Land Rover if it simply drops the Defender or replaces it with something too different. We don’t want a new model which focuses more on image than off road ability.
    Given what the production costs must be compared to a modern car it is a miracle that it has survived the numerous cost reviews there must have been.

  21. Oliver says:

    Everything had to come to an end like the Defender so the Puch G/ Mercedes G too in that year!
    At the moment the final edition is leaving the factory!

  22. Ian says:

    JLR should stop that Spanish outfit knocking out Defender copies. Don’t know how they get away with it!

  23. Keith Adams Keith Adams says:

    Santana went into administration earlier this year!

  24. David Dawson says:

    She still looks good!! The modern detailing has worked well.

  25. Mark says:

    How can they scrap the defender , its the flagship of the line
    , that design is an icon ,it seem to me that these company buying such as Landrover and mini are just out for the money ,
    i own a 1979 classic range rover 2 door , just a word to landrover , you will never see me in a post bmw one look after your heritage as well , vw do it why cant you ,

  26. arelbe says:

    Posts 14 and 19 sum it up for me. Add MARKETING to an updated “repair-in-the-field with a spanner and a hammer” rugged 4×4 and they won’t go far wrong.
    It doesn’t need streamlining, it doesn’t need sophistication. It needs better noise insulation, seat comfort and driver ergonomics. It needs all its bits to be simple and to simply work. Streamlined, more automated production would be an instant profit boost for a new model.
    A workhorse it should remain. And as such the less expensive-to-replace-electronics it has the more chance to regain sales from the increasingly technologically-minded opposition. I’d love to see them go for simple.

  27. Magnus says:

    Totally agree with 10, 14 and 25. That LR are even hesitating about a replacement to the Defender shows that they have comprehensively turned their back on the clientele that has sustained them for decades. More fool them.

    Farmers, rural folk and ‘old money’ wouldn’t be seen dead in any LR product less than 5 years old these days and have driven into the welcoming arms of Toyota and Mitsubishi. This is not for image reasons – such clientele care little for such things – but for simple, pragmatic reasons of price and practicality.

    LR can photograph the Evoque (and others in the range) covered in mud on their proving ground as much as they like – vehicles like that will never go anywhere near such terrain in real life.

    Is there a market for a Defender-style vehicle? Of course there is – and it’s huge. Of course the Defender needs a revamp but it surely can’t be beyond the wit of man to keep the shape of the vehicle as well as its good characteristics: a simple, practical, reliable (?), rugged workhorse.

    But is LR’s heart really in that market segment any more? They’ve already dropped the “Best 4x4xfar” slogan as the townies and ‘new money’ don’t understand it. A 21st century Defender could be another global success story – but I sadly wouldn’t bet the, er, farm on LR going for it.

  28. Landyboy says:

    Re: “Given how useless it is as a road car”, the Defender isn’t a car, driving on road you need to adopt more of a Transit van approach, after all that’s where the engine and ‘box are from! Treat the throttle pedal as an on/off switch, use the gears and expect some vagueness from the steering. Hopefully after many false starts, a replacement will materialise under the current German management of Land Rover. After all Dr Reitzle (before he left BMW) was clear that the Defender was the icon that underpinned the Land Rover (and Range Rover?) brands.

  29. mark says:

    post 27 i am landrover through and through still is the best 4×4 by far and always will be , even the queen has 90 , yes the defender is agrocultural but isnt that part of its charm , another thing to not is they reckon 75% of the landrovers built are still on the road , post 20 i am only too glad to get stuck in the past if it means i keep a proper car

  30. pigeons99 pigeons99 says:

    If they make a replacement, they have to make it to accept a tachograph! This is important. A lot of commercial interests are turning away from dealers due to new EU rules (oddly, only we (UK) accepted them) that mean certain dashboard locations are illegal.

    I would hate to see the defender go, it is such a lovely and classic design and I grew up with these as a pads brat so to change the unique, instantly recognisable design too much would be a shame.
    It might be an idea to have a high spec model for those who wanted a road use vehicle and a off road/ basic model for those who seek utility. The only problem then, is that the premium model become associated with a basic utility vehicle and reduces the desirability.

  31. Darren says:

    The measure of a truly great vehicle is residual value.
    The Defender depreciates extremely slowly.

    If the resources for a completely new vehicle are not there, then a facelift should be conceived. There are plenty of areas that could be improved at low cost.
    Interior space being one of them, couldn’t the chassis be lengthened slightly and a few more inches applied to the cabin?
    This would allow a new dash to be fitted?

  32. Chris C says:

    The Santana Land Rover apparently lives on as the Iveco Massif, eg http://web.iveco.com/spain/producto/pages/massif_pasajeros_ventajas_cliente.aspx

    The Spanish Land Rovers are legitimate – a story a bit like SEAT where BL/Rover built overseas and lost interest around the end of Series 3 – building Defenders there instead of Solihull might have been an economic option. Spanish origin Land Rovers were useful in certain markets, eg South America. Secondhand Santanas in the UK look an absolute bargain although build quality can apprently vary.

    Land Rover seems to struggle with Defender – some senior people not realising how it is a multi-use platform that can be easily reconfigured/rebuilt. Previous attempts to replace it included a beach buggy-like vehicle with advanced aluminium spaceframe. The main problem is that fundamentally it’s a truck and many in Land Rover prefer working with luxury/fast road vehicles… Tata needs to bring its influence to bear here.

  33. Adrian says:

    The 2 suprising things about the Defender is that A) it’s still being made and B) people are still buying it. Since most 4x4s made over 50% of their time on roads, many people feel they are better off in a Toyota Landcruiser which is good off road and OK on road, rather than a Defender which is excellent off road but poor on road.

    I think is in a similiar position to the Mini in the 90s: everyone likes the idea of a heritage design still being sold, but very few people are willing to buy one. I should imagine private buyers for the Defender are few in number, and commercial sales aren’t that much higher. The mainstay of sales to the army is drying up as apparently they are replacing their Defenders with a scaled down Humvee type vehicle..

  34. Dennis says:

    I think the last figure i read from LR was they were building between 10’000 & 20’000 vehicles per year. Which is pretty small scale production, when compared to say the Hilux, but then Land-Rover’s tend to last longer, mainly due to the ease at which you can rebuild them.

  35. SD says:

    Describing Defender as labour intensive is an understatement. There are skills required which are simply not used in other car manufacture. The doors are gas welded. A dozen old blokes in a corner of the plant in Solihull with vintage gas welding equipment! You may as well have a little corner of the factory building Morgans.

  36. Dennis says:

    Why on earth are they Gas welded? Surely the frames could be mig welded, and the skins are just crimped/glued on.

  37. Darren says:

    The Defender still sells and I own one because it can legitimately tow 3500kgs on the road.
    There are very few affordable trucks out there that can do that, most of the Japanese monster trucks look impressive but are not when it comes to towing weights!
    (Check out the uktow.com website)
    Then there is agility with the trailer: the Defender 90 is nice and short with a decent turning circle to aid turning the trailer around, most Jap pickups are clumsy and have an awfully large turning circle.

    Currently there are two types of buyer for Defenders, business buyers and leisure ones.
    The former are catered for by the basic models and the latter by the specced up models with alloys etc.

  38. will101 says:

    If we have the same winter again at the end of this year and into next. Demand for all Defenders new and used will incress up and down the UK, they were very hard it get hold of back then and prices incresed up here in scotland on all of the avalible ones according to a Defender owner we know.

    It might keep the Land Rover Defender going if all winters get real worse all the time till 2016!,God for bid that snow and ice.

    Also the indian Hindustan Ambassador (1950’s Morris Oxford)is still assembeled with gas welding equipment even today.

  39. Mikey C says:

    Land Rover need a replacement, one which combines the best bits of the Defender, but is far easier to build, more comfortable – I’m talking Land Cruiser 70 comfort here – and far more reliable, as it is this which lost LR a lot of sales in harsh climates.

    What is crucial, is that the end product is still a Land Rover, and not a RR Sport in drag…

  40. The Rockabilly Red says:

    The quicker this poorly built, unreliable, antiquated, millstone is junked, the better. It’s been a hinderance to Land Rover for years.

  41. alexscott says:

    I have a 110 5 door here in my British car collection which has recently been invaded by the Germans (BMW318 – becasue I was afraid to buy a rover 216 with CVT), I am surprised that Land Rover do still make the defender, and im surprised that they arent made in a developing country. the Santana usese series III technology and doesnt look as good as the Defender but it has a good engine and better room / flat floor. but in all honesty, its shouldnt be hard to come up with something which is more modern, doesnt leak (let the water in), and I understand, that LandRover have done some work on the Defender in recent times, better safer seating and interior, pressed steel door frames instead of kitset construction, and so on. But I suspect that even if Land Rover kill off the Defender, the OLD Saying will stick “The Whole “Land Rover, is the sum of its parts. the after market supplies for land rover defenders are increndible and a testament to the design (good and bad adn the British Support for their products). it is quite possibly that land rover keep on making them because they keep selling them, and because its part of thier Iconic brand. alex

  42. Will M says:

    The Iveco Massif was built by Santana.
    It sold poorly and Iveco cancelled the project in 2010.

    The Santana factory closed soon after.

    The Santana product and the Iveco Massif were based on the LR ‘series’ models.

    The unsold Massifs are still sold new in 2011, but are the last of a batch.

    USP is that it has a rear door wide enough to accept a europallet!

    When the mk1 Discovery appeared, I had assumed that it was the 90/110 replacement as it was initially available in 3 door and van versions, however it was soon apparant that this was intended to be a more upmarket vehicle.

  43. Chris Chapman says:

    Thanks Will for the update ref Iveco.

    The Disco Commercial (wrists usually slapped if the word “van” was ever heard at Solihull…) was an SV project – Discovery was not originally engineered as a van variant, eg with blank body sides – in BIW build welding/lifting arms had to go through the window apertures so the Commercials used lasercut blanks riveted/glued into finished vehicles specially built with rear seats deleted, etc, and rear bodysides repainted. Quite a nice little earner at 1,000 per year. Possibly inspired by local conversions in Ireland.

    Still slightly amazed that Disco 3 was released in a van version – I had a helluva game getting agreement to trial build (OK, cobble up) a 5 door Disco 2 as a van (there being no 3 door version).

  44. Dennis says:

    Santana’s were basically Series 3’s with cosmetic stuff and a new engine bolted on. A Defender can pretty much be summed up in the same way, except it has coil suspension too.

    Mostly i see the Disco commercials used as vans for Builders and civil engineering projects. I guess if there are enough orders for them they get made. The firms using them tend to want something more secure than a truck, more comfortable than a Defender, but at the same time they don’t need the rear seats and windows along with the VAT that comes with them. Ideal for people like surveyors who need space to carry instruments but also need to go anywhere.

  45. Clearly the Defender can’t last for ever. The coil sprung version is nearly 30 years old!

    I just hope that the replacement retains the core values, i.e.:
    1. It’s a tool for a job
    2. It’s fixable in the field
    3. It lasts a long time
    4. It’s reliable

    If they design a pastiche, woe betide them.

    I wonder if the rumoured split between Land Rover and Range Rover will encourage them to see the replacement as a commercial vehicle.

    Chris.

  46. Jake says:

    There IS a complete prototype in existance and IT has been seen at Gaydon, due for release towards the end of 2013… But, don’t hold your breath, the way Land Rover is being run these days…

  47. martin says:

    SOD THE EU..I am sick to death of them shut the EU down not yet another British company so they can sell there cars….TIME TO CLOSE EU down. period.

  48. concept_3 says:

    I spoke to a senior engineer at LR who was doing a talk at My Uni about 18 months ago who assured me it was going ahead and was fairly well advanced.
    He said a launch during 2013 was being talked about.
    He also told me it would be designed mostly the the Asian/ South American market, which sugests (to me) that it would be much like the Land Cruiser.

    so 18 months ago at least it was looking like this article was a load of tosh.

  49. Darren says:

    Disco vans age as quickly as they loose value.

  50. Will M says:

    Disco 4 is also available as a van&bksp;&bksp;&bksp; commercial vehicle.
    These type of commercial SUVs are/were very popular in Ireland due to the tax breaks. They used to ship Discos over, break the windows and burn the seats in the presence of a VRT official.

    I can invisage a replacement looking very “Tonka” but with hints at the defender like the round lights. Similar to the Toyota FJ Cruiser.
    They need to target the Asia/Americas where the Land Cruiser is king.
    Tata have the know-how of building rugged cars for emerging markets (albeit on Mercedes-based pickups) hopefully this will translate to a reliable but bulletproof replacement.

    The PSNI during the summer took a large consignment of Tangis (armoured Land Rovers). Could they be stocking up before the end, much like the Met with their SD1s? The new vehicle has to offer these kind of customisations.

    Land Rover / Range Rover split: Interestingly if you visit their website today and select the new cars link, they split the model range into the LR and the RR groups.

    Could they be splitting JLR into 2 units by market position?
    Premium (Jag and Range Rover) and sub-premium (Land Rover and the reintroduction of Rover)?

  51. Dennis says:

    [quote]SOD THE EU..I am sick to death of them shut the EU down not yet another British company so they can sell there cars….TIME TO CLOSE EU down. period.[/quote]

    Frankly this is nothing much to do with the EU, and leaving the EU would make no difference. Simply selling the Defender in the UK would be totally inadequate to make a profit, if they wanted to sell it in another european country then it would have to pass either the combined EU type approval which it does now, or an individual type approval for each country which would outweigh any profit they’d make on it. They can’t sell the Defender in the US for the same reasons, and the US is clearly nothing to do with the EU!

    With regards to comments about the replacement looking like a Tonka toy, well tbh that’s probably a good description of the current one. Tonka Toys aren’t the prettiest of toys but they are very functional and almost indestructable. They do need to keep the functionality and not sacrifice it for looks.

    PSNI buying a large number of vehicles is probably more to do with the economies of scale, you have to order a certain number to get a good price. It might cost say £500’000 for one, or £550’000 for 10.

  52. Mikey C says:

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/258535/

    Land Rover will reveal a Defender concept car at this autumn’s Frankfurt show; a ploy intended not only to demonstrate that the company is serious about replacing the 63-year old classic, but also to gather feedback on whether it is heading in the right direction with the replacement.

  53. Ian says:

    The story in Autocar is a total red herring.

    Land Rover WILL be replacing the Defender. In fact, a concept of the upcoming Defender will be shown at the Frankfurt motor show a bit like the LRX was shown in concept form, before being put into production as close as possible to the concept.

  54. Brian Daniels says:

    ‘If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons, and in that sense it’s a tremendous responsibility.’

    I don’t understand the angst. If Chrysler could manage to keep the Jeep Wrangler more or less up to date and viable, it shouldn’t be too hard to make a modern Land Rover.

  55. Jemma says:

    I drove one of these the grand total of once. It was unremittingly awful on the road, it handled like a 2 tonne skateboard on slick tyres & black ice and was downright scary (the first time I had ever been scared by something I was driving). You never knew where it was going to end up when you tried to maneuver, and that was on a dry sunny summers day (yes they happen..).
    Off the road however its a completely different story and a vehicle in a class of its own. It may be slower than a chief constable and uglier than a chav granny @ a nudist beach, but its practically unbreakable and the most important thing is reliability, specially in the middle of a desert.
    The problem is, they’ll try and change it too much.. All it really needs is a suspension transplant – an air suspended landie maybe – but it’ll be, ooh look we can shoehorn the new engine with all the electronics in there and it’ll go faster (right up until about the 2nd monsoon).
    JLR need to identify the weak spots (road handling mainly) and deal with those and those only, not faff around creating something new that will, like all the modern stuff, look pretty but be a whole new level in useless, overcomplicated, and underfunctional.

  56. SD says:

    Oh come on Jemma what a load of tosh.

    It’s been years since the defender sold well in “Desert” countries. They don’t sell in Australia they dont sell in Africa and they dont sell in the Middle East. I remember in Saudi in the 80s everyone bought Landcruisers because the LR had poor dust sealing and sub standard reliability. A Defender leaks like a sieve in a monsoon. Think of the potential customers – big oil and mining companies in Australia Brazil the Middle East and Africa. Do you think they dont understand electronics? And their maintenance department is one old guy in an iron shed?

    The current customer base is home counties farmers and the MOD. 20000 a year – the same as Mini production was before BMW reinvented it. There’s a 200,000 unit market there ripe for the picking.

  57. mark powell says:

    I went in a defender 115 9 seater and boy was it utilitarian, it was but then these babys wern’t ment to be comfy or used like the land cruiser on the roads.Be honest how many land cruisers do you see being used off road by families, not many in contrast to the defenders. If land rovers are saying they dont make enough profit on the defender range, its either their own fault or their talking a load of bulls..t,maybe their board of the old shape and want to invest in a new design. Sofar what iv’e seen is impressive,what let’s down the new design though is the use of plastics on the front and rear of the defender replacment.I dont think that it will last as well as the existing vehicle, but then we are in a throw away world when things are not meant to last, but then this is my personal observation, maybe it will last who knows…..

  58. Where I live there are various imprint 1s and 2s. In spite of being hugely rudimentary, they have an impressive appeal. One specifically has a reconditioned sand hued canvas rooftop. I would give my right bollock for that auto

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