Land Rover Defender

As we are sure you have heard, the demise of the Land Rover Defender has been delayed for at least a few years past 2015. A few weeks ago, Land Rover unveiled the replacement for the Defender at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts caused a stir in the Land Rover community. The opinions were largely split down enthusiast lines. Those who have owned a Defender or consider themselves brand aficionados were mostly against the DC100. However, many who were “looking in from the outside” saw the DC100 as a fresh product from a company known for slow product evolution. It seems both camps have something to celebrate this week.

Defender 110 and 130 to Live On

Autocar.co.uk broke the news earlier this week that the long-wheelbase Defender — known as the 110 and 130 — will reportedly live on until 2017, if not longer. Land Rover cited statutory exemptions with making the Defender viable past the previous 2015 deadline. The company has already announced that it will equip the Defender with the company’s EU6-compliant 2.2L diesel engine, which itself went a long way toward upping the Defender’s longevity.

DC100 Concept

So, what’s the secret? The long-wheelbase Defender is classified as a commercial vehicle, which provides a loophole against certain emissions and pedestrian safety rules. A similar strategy is used here in the U.S. to sidestep fuel economy ratings on some of the larger domestic light trucks.

What of the DC100?

The DC100 is still on target for a 2015 delivery as a replacement for the short-wheelbase Defender. This comes as mixed news for the Defender faithful. On one hand, it means that their beloved Defender will live on longer than expected. On the other, it means Land Rover will be less likely to compromise its vision of the DC100 and could take it to market mostly as-is, sans some of the wilder technologies. That said, Land Rover has stated the DC100 is not a production-ready concept and was, in fact, a jumping off point for discussion.

We have speculated in the past that the current Defender could live on in emerging markets, and we still think this is a strong possibility. At this very moment, Jaguar Land Rover is working on securing a Chinese manufacturing partner. The company also recently announced that the Range Rover Evoque will be assembled in India along with the Freelander 2 (LR2). However, we wouldn’t be counting on these grey market Defenders making it to our shores. Reportedly, the U.S. government has cracked down on grey market vehicles. 

Land Rover Defender Rear View

[via Autocar.co.uk, et al]



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October 21, 2011

RoverGuide

DC100 Concept, Defender, Land Rover Models, Land Rover News

DC100, DC100 Sport, Defender

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