News : Last of the line Defenders – which flavour are you?

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Craig Cheetham

A trio of special edition Land Rover Defenders has been unveiled, to mark the end of production for the iconic model later on this year.

Take your pick...
Take your pick…

Badged Autobiography, Adventure and Heritage, the three models each looks at the Defender from a different angle.

You’ll need to dig deep if you want to get behind the wheel of the Autobiography model – priced from £61,845 (and, yes, you did read that right), it comes with a 150PS power upgrade, Windsor leather upholstery (we assume, at that price, sourced from the Royal household from which it takes its name) and two-tone paintwork. A veritable bargain, we’re sure. Just 80 will be made in 90 Station Wagon format only.

Land Rover Defender Autobiography
Land Rover Defender Autobiography

The Adventure model celebrates the more intrepid side of Defender ownership. It comes fitted with additional underbody protection and beefy Goodyear mud tyres to boost the Defender’s all-terrain capability, while fans of the G4 Challenge will identify with the vivid orange colour scheme. A total of 600 Adventure Editions, all with full leather, will be available in the UK, priced at £43,495.

Land Rover Defender Adventure
Land Rover Defender Adventure

Finally, there’s the Heritage edition, which at £27,800 seems a bargain by comparison (it’s also my favourite – Ed). Inspired by early Land Rovers, it has exclusive ‘Grasmere Green’ paintwork and a contrasting white roof. A Heritage style grille and graphics depicting ‘HUE 166’ – the first ever production Land Rover – further identify the model, which goes on sale in August.

Land Rover Defender Heritage
Land Rover Defender Heritage

Land Rover has also indicated that it’s potentially looking at continuing Defender production outside the UK after the model retires from the Lode Lane facility later this year, for continued sale in non-European markets. So the Defender, maybe, is not dead yet…

Meanwhile, until production ceases in the autumn, Land Rover is running tours of the existing Defender production line. Tours cost £45 per person and are available on a first come, first served basis. To arrange a visit to the home of Land Rover, call: +44 (0)121 700 4619.

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

29 Comments

  1. Quite partial to the retro looks of the Heritage model.

    Though the fun thing about Defenders and classic Landies are their modularity, the retro grille and modern lights could be fitted to almost any Defender model.

  2. Oh I so want one of the G4 orange Adventure models!
    Im sure they will always retain most of that price as last of the line special editions – and will probably go up in value as time goes by.
    Too steep for me unfortunately but you can but dream!!!

  3. Since Chery are making updated Mini Mokes, Beijing SUV’s heavily influenced by G-Wagens, Landwind Evoque clones, anyone care to bet how soon there will be Defender lookalikes on the market? Perhaps Yema could be persuaded… If the Defender replacement is significantly more expensive/upmarket there will be a huge gap for a modular proper 4×4 for somebody (even JCB?) to fill.

  4. The Adventure is rather nice although I don’t like the available colours. Nor can I understand why it has been called Adventure not Adventurer – the latter was a name applied to a Discovery limited edition in 2003. A Defender Adventure, eh? Sounds like it is not adequately prepared for the rough rigours of daily life in Devon.

    Again, I am surprised the Autobiography name has been ‘lowered’ onto the Land Rover Defender rather than remaining the preserve of bespoke Range Rovers. Land Rover tried doing this on Freelander and Discovery 2 in late 2000 and the idea was quickly dropped because it was felt the Autobiography name should remain for Range Rover only. With the latest Defenders, therefore, Land Rover clearly could not come up with a more fitting name for a low volume, super high premium-priced model (e.g. Metropolis, Signatory, Premium…) rather than blurring the boundaries between Land Rover and Range Rover. Nice model, but a desperate grasp onto any premium sub-brand name that happened to be lurking around.

    Can’t say I like the Heritage edition either – the grille design looks awful.

    I for one would be happy with a high spec Defender 90 XS County Station Wagon in a regular colour scheme, although the 150Ps power upgrade to the engine would be nice new addition!

    RIP, Defender. Am glad to read Land Rover is looking to mark the occasion with some ‘interesting’ limited editions, although am really sad the inevitable has now been confirmed in writing. Forgotten? Never.

  5. I agree David :the Heritage grille does look awful, why didn’t they make it of wire if this edition is supposed to hark back to the Series one?

    The autobiography is expensive, if spending that amount you’d probably be better knocking on Twisted’s door?

  6. I love the Heritage edition. They can only do so much with the grille. It’s a homage to, not a re-launch of the Series one. You’ll notice it doesn’t have a split screen either…

    Great news if they continue production outside of the UK!

  7. So what is replacing the Defender? I heard that project was cancelled. Is that right and if so does anyone know why?
    Am I right in saying that it was European legislation against vehicles with separate chassis which killed this old girl? Having lived a mile from the factory for much of my life (but not any longer), I’d love to know the facts please if someone can comment.

    • A number of reasons primarily related to not meeting future emissions and safety legislation. (There are still no air bags or even ABS fitted I believe?)

    • The DC100 concept was not universally well received and so has been reviewed as to whether it would be suitable to progress onwards towards becoming a production design and spec. Make no mistake, there will definitely be a replacement for the current Defender and I would expect it will be unveiled in either late April or September.

      I believe the current Defender has been fitted with ABS and Hill Descent Control since late 1998. However, it has never been fitted with driver or passenger airbags, which was the reason why it was withdrawn from sale in North America in late 1997.

    • Yes I think you could have a spectacular 110 for half the price.
      Late model 05/06 Td5 with low mileage and a few thousand pounds of tasteful extras would still come in well under 20K and if looked after would last forever.

  8. Having seen ludicrously expensive pimped up G Wagons in London, I’m sure the Autobiography version will easily sell out!

  9. Just as the air is becoming clean enough to breathe in safety, they bring out another batch of these anti-social pedestrian killers

  10. Great to see Land Rover are still enthusiastic about the defender and are making the most of it. As for production after 2015..I thought BMH would have been the logical choice. Alex

  11. Price – what problem is that….the bonuses that *ankers (insert your own letter) get and £300,000 a week silly boys who kick a ball about, the top of the range is only just over a days pay.

    I note from the media that one of the silly boys who currently does not kick a ball drives a black defender.

  12. First “Metropolis”, then “Heritage”, “Autobiography” and “Adventure”. Aren’t these names that would have been better suited to this month’s Metro special edition?
    How about a Defender Advantage, or Defender Park Lane?
    Like the FL2 Check Mate, sorry, Metropolis, I wonder if these name badges can be discretely removed with a credit card and a heat gun, then binned before the neighbours see them?!
    The Series & Defender owners on Landyzone would be merciless!…..

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