That's right, the Land Rover Defender is slated to end its run in just over two short years. And although that name "Defender" has only been in use since 1990, the vehicle that's worn it and its rough-and-tumble, rural nature can be traced all the way back to the original Series I Land Rover, from 1948.
The report from Automotive Business Review is in contrast to a report from last year, that Defender production at Land Rover's Solihull factory would continue until 2017, and that we'd get our first glimpse at its replacement in 2015. But with this accelerated shut down, it's difficult to say just when we'll see a new model.
The death of the Defender is a matter of emissions compliance - the big, utilitarian SUV simply can't be retrofitted to meet tough, clean-air standards in its various markets. And while we hate seeing such an iconic vehicle end its run, the idea of the Defender isn't going away.
"A replacement vehicle will join the Land Rover range, but the Defender in its current format is coming to an end," a Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson told ABR. That leaves us wondering what to expect on this new model, which we're tentatively calling the Defender II, following the nomenclature used on past Land Rovers.
We've already speculated that the Defender II won't base its styling on the DC100 Concept, but beyond that, we don't have a lot to go on. ABR, on the other hand, seems to think the new model will have a "beach-buggy style," like the DC100. What would you like to see from a new Defender (besides it being sold in the US)?