The big, boxy, get-out-of-my-way Land Rover Defender will be replaced around 2013, says Land Rover. Seriously???
After 61 years on the market, Land Rover's iconic Defender will finally be replaced around 2013, the British brand has revealed.
This is strange. As we just reported, it was What Car? Magazine's favorite off-roader in their latest reader poll. It was - and is - the vehicle around which Land Rover's go-anywhere image was built. It hasn't received a major change to its bodywork since 1983 (that's before Hyundai had sold its first car in the United States and before GM created - and subsequently destroyed - the Saturn brand).
The Defender hasn't been in the United States for a few years now on account of its high emissions and low air bag status. Then there's all those pesky new global standards for pedestrian-friendly front ends. There's nothing pedestrian friendly about the Defender and there never will be. So... that means it will require either an all-new design or a profound bit of re-engineering.
Land Rover managing director Phil Popham told Australian newsletter GoAutoNews that "the new Defender will be even more capable than the outgoing vehicle," allaying fears that it might devolve into another of those ubiquitous cute-utes. Spare us.
"We'll be really tuning up the versatility side and practicality side," Popham said. "That for me is the core" of the Defender's identity. Amen, brother.
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