Land Rover Defender Bows Out with Three Final Editionshttp://blog.caranddriver.com/say-bye-land-rover-defender-bows-out-with-three-final-editions/
- Model: Land Rover Defender 90 Heritage Edition
- Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
- Power/torque: 120bhp/360Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed manual, dual range four-wheel drive
- 0-62mph/top speed: 15.8 secs/90mph
- Economy/CO2: 28.3mpg/266g/km
The venerable Land Rover, launched in 1948 and renamed the Defender by marketing types in 1990, will reach the end of the road this December. Although it has been gone from U.S. shores for more than a decade, the Defender has been plugging along in other markets. With its gutless four-cylinder diesel and tractorlike driving characteristics, it is an anachronism on wheels, yet fiercely loved by aficionados worldwide. For the Defender’s final year of production, Land Rover is sending it out with not one but three special editions.
The special editions have three distinct themes: the outdoorsy Adventure Edition, the luxurious Autobiography Edition, and the retro-licious Heritage Edition.
The Adventure Edition comes with skid plates, Goodyear MT/R off-road tires, a roof rack, LED headlights, and a roof-level air intake. Leather upholstery and door panels dress up the interior, while black wheels and a black-painted hood, tailgate, and roof contrast with the body color—either gray, white, or orange. On sale beginning in August, the Adventure Edition is available in both the 90 and 110 body styles, priced from £38,400 in the U.K. (approximately $58,500).
As it does in the Range Rover lineup, the Autobiography Edition denotes the ultra-luxurious version—well, ultra-luxurious for a Defender. Offered as a 90 station wagon only, the Autobiography receives a full leather interior, a bespoke two-tone black and gray paint job, and bright exterior trim. Its 2.2-liter turbo-diesel also is tuned to produce 148 horsepower (instead of 120 horsepower) and 295 lb-ft of torque (up from 280 lb-ft). Available starting this spring, it’s priced at £61,500 ($93,700).
Our favorite of the three is probably the Heritage Edition, which also happens to be the least expensive, with a starting price of £30,900 ($47,000). On offer this spring in both 90 and 110 form, the Heritage Edition sports a retro-style front grille, steel wheels, and the HUE166 logo that graced an early prototype. The cabin features tan cloth seats and rubber floor mats. With its Grasmere green paint and white roof, it evokes the look of the 1940s and 1950s models.
Many of these Defenders are sure to end up in collections all over the world (albeit not in the U.S.—at least not until they’re eligible for a DOT waiver in another 25 years). But they may not represent the very last examples of the model. The company says it is considering small-scale production overseas for specific fleets and purposes outside of Europe. Meanwhile, let’s hope that the all-new Defender replacement, expected to launch in 2016, is a worthy follow-up to the long-running original.