Land Rover is gearing up to replace its iconic Defender with a new model, but in the meantime fans are still in love with this old school off-roader. To keep the Defender fresh, and possibly to capitalize on some of that love, Land Rover cooked up this Defender XTech Special Edition.
On the outside, the XTech Special Edition package was meant to improve the looks of this already-capable truck. XTech Special Editions only come in Orkney Grey or Nara Bronze, which is exclusive to this model. The metallic colors contrast a Santorini Black roof and black accents; the headlight surrounds, bumpers, door sills, and wheels are also blacked out.
On the back is a Defender badge in a militaristic stencil typeface. The overall effect is that of a Land Rover customized to suit the tastes of people who shop at Urban Outfitters.
The interior of the XTech Special Edition also gets a few tweaks. Taking a page from Land Rover’s newer, more luxurious models, the seats are covered in Ebony and Almond leather with contrasting stitching. The floor mats and headrests are branded with the Land Rover logo. The center stack is also painted to match the Defender’s exterior color.
The XTech Special Edition is also loaded with optional extras. A basic Defender can be downright spartan, but this one comes with air conditioning, keyless entry, heated seats and windshield, and a rear bumper with an integrated step. These features are a given on any luxury SUV, but the Defender was roving the Earth long before that category existed.
Before Land Rover built shopping mall cruisers like the LR4 and Evoque, it built no-nonsense utility vehicles that faithfully served farmers, explorers, and armies the world over. The Defender, which first launched in 1983, is considered to be the last of that breed.
Normally, automotive special editions aren’t that special; they’re just extra badges and fancy paint. Land Rover did not make any radical changes to the Defender to create the XTech but, this time, that’s alright. The styling isn’t for everyone (neither is the nonsensical name), but at least the company preserved the Defender’s character; it didn’t go too far and try to turn it into a British Mercedes GL-Class.
The XTech Special Edition package will be available on the 90 (short wheelbase) Hard Top and 110 (long wheelbase) Utility Wagon body styles.
All models will be powered by a 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four, which makes 121 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The only available transmission is a six-speed manual.
The Defender XTech Special Edition goes on sale this month, but only in the UK. Anglophiles can pay 27,995 pounds (about $43,400) to put one in their driveway.