Production of the Defender has modernized quite a bit since the first one was cobbled together, but it still remains an old-school body-on-frame box meant to stubbornly cut a path across fields and traverse the ground before it. The 2.1-liter four-cylinder engines that power them don’t put up more than 147 horsepower, but it seems to be quite satisfactory for this staunch English explorer.
The vehicles you see are indeed the final 2015 model year cars, leaving the factory as three different editions: Autobiography, Heritage, and Adventure. The “Adventure” trim is aptly named, kitted with all the accoutrements of exploration. “Autobiography” focuses more on modern, urban-focused luxury, with a short bump in horsepower, while the “Heritage” trim is outfitted with vintage-styled touches like the grille to embody the spirit of the original.
As the original Defender is on its way out, Land Rover has stated that a new family of Defenders will follow with the Discovery, maintaining the sense of overt ruggedness that the off-roader is known for. Some traditionalists may scoff, but low powered, fuel-inefficient utility vehicles won’t cut it in the modern world, fun as they are.
Examples of the original generation will remain collectibles, most likely being passed down the family line. Even in a collection, the Defender will still inspire us to go out and see what’s over the next hill.
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