Land Rover Defender Production To End, but Replacement in Works | Edmunds.com
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Land Rover Defender Production To End, but Replacement in Works


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Just the Facts:
  • It's the end of the road for the Land Rover Defender, but the automaker told Edmunds that it still intends to replace the iconic vehicle with "a new-generation model."
  • The Land Rover Defender will go out of production by the middle of the decade due to legislative reasons.
  • A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman would not disclose the name or details of the Defender replacement, saying: "It is too early to discuss future products."

MAHWAH, New Jersey — It's the end of the road for the Land Rover Defender, but the automaker told Edmunds that it still intends to replace the iconic vehicle with "a new-generation model."

"In 2011, Land Rover announced its intention, due to legislative reasons, to end production of the Defender in its current form," wrote Stuart Schorr, a Jaguar Land Rover spokesman, in response to an Edmunds query on Thursday. "The suggested timing was mid-decade. This remains our intention. We have said that we do intend to replace Defender with a new-generation model but it is too early to discuss future products."

Although popular with U.S. consumers, the automaker had to discontinue the Defender's U.S. sales because the vehicle did not meet federal safety regulations that required driver and passenger side airbags. The Defender was the first model built by Land Rover in 1948.

"In fact, six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work — many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth," according to Land Rover's history of the rugged vehicle.

Land Rover's DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts, which made their North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, investigated the potential design direction for a replacement for the Defender.

At the time, the automaker said it intended to create an "all-new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithful to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable."

The DC100 concepts featured off-road 20-inch alloy wheels with Cooper all-terrain tires. The concepts included "expedition accessories," such as a raised air-intake "snorkel" for wading and a roof rack. A Wade Aid used sonar technology to assess water depth. In addition, a Driveline Disconnect physically decoupled the rear axle to save fuel.

According to some media reports, a production version of the DC100 has been scrapped.

Edmunds says: Expect any future Land Rover Defender to be lightweight and fuel-efficient — but still with lots of cues that bring to mind an old favorite.

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