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Land Rover Defender reprieved

Fri, 21 Oct 2011

Land Rover Defender reprieved until 2017 - and maybe beyond

It’s the news that all die-hard Land Rover Defender fans – and there are still plenty of them – wanted to hear; the current Defender has won a reprieve until at least 2017.

It had originally been thought that the iconic (that word again, but it’s justified in the Defender’s case) Landie would be forced in to the annuls of motoring history by Euro emissions rules.

But thanks to plans to endow the current Defender with a version of JLR’s 2.2 litre diesel, it now means that the Defender as we know it can keep on trucking until at least 2017 with its new, Euro5 compliant engine.

Which means there will, for a while, be an interesting juxtaposition with Land Rover’s new Defender – whether that’s the LR DC 100 Concept we saw recently, or something different – it will still mean Defender buyers can get used to the new Defender – and have time to see the improvements (assuming they’re perceived as existing) – before moving in to a new generation of Defender.

But will the Land Rover Defender as we know it actually survive beyond 2017?

There’s a distinct possibility that Land Rover may chose to take the current Defender off to India (or China) to continue being built as a workhorse for emerging markets.

It would be a much easier move to start actually building JLR cars away from the UK with an ‘old’ model than it would with a new, and the Defender as it is will probably still pass muster across big sections of the world even after it has been deemed too polluting – or too dangerous for pedestrians – elsewhere.

In fact, the Defender could well live on past 2017 even in the UK, thanks to rules which give ‘commercial’ vehicles more breathing space to conform to emissions and pedestrian safety rules than other vehicles.

Don’t bet against the iconic Land Rover Defender surviving for another decade.

By Cars UK