After 68 years of stalwart service, Land Rover is saying goodbye to the Defender with a year-long sendoff. As production winds down for the iconic adventure vehicle, the last ones to roll out will be three limited editions, each representing different elements of the Defender’s character.
“We wanted to mark the end of Defender production at Solihull with a special edition but coming up with a single identity was impossible,” said Nick Rodgers, Land Rover Vehicle Line Director. “So, we developed three very different interpretations of the Defender to reflect its strength and breadth of character.”
The Autobiography edition is the modern luxury trim, with two-tone paintwork, Windsor leather upholstery and an upgrade to the 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine, boosting things up from 122-horsepower to 147 hp. This version goes on sale in April across the Atlantic and will run about £61,500 (roughly $75,000).
For something more nostalgic, Land Rover will came up with the Heritage edition, decked out in a Grasmere green body and sporting a white roof. The grille has a more retro-style feel to it, and it will be adorned with “HUE 116” graphics which is a callback to the registration plate worn by the original pre-production Land Rover.
Although the Heritage edition is the true love letter to the Defender’s legacy, the Adventure edition carries the vehicle’s globe-traversing spirit. This model sports additional underbody protection for the side sills and engine sump, as well as chunky Goodyear MT/R tires. Slap on a roof rack and an exhaust snorkel, and it’s ready to tread new ground.
It’s sad to see such a legend go, particularly for those that lauded the spirit of exploration Land Rover used to embody, now seeming to favor luxury above adventure. We’ll miss the Defender, but we’ll take some comfort in knowing that whenever we take the road less traveled, a Defender probably made the trail.