The Land Rover Defender is boxy, beastly and beloved. Early next year, it’ll be history.
For seven decades, the Defender off-road vehicle has barely changed from a design so simple it was originally sketched in beach sand. Slabs of aluminum. A windshield with virtually no tilt. A roof rack made to hold steamer trunks or lion carcasses. A spare tire hanging off the back door.That uncompromising approach has delighted customers from English sheep farmers to Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II. The Defender has shuttled soldiers in the Korean War, Red Cross volunteers in crisis zones around the world and Lara Croft in the movie Tomb Raider. In January, its run will end, and the company hasn’t said when there will be a replacement.
The 23,100-pound ($35,100) car synonymous with British country living has become as anachronistic as a fox hunt. Its raw metal surfaces are at odds with pedestrian safety standards. Its carbon-dioxide emissions are twice the European fleet standard, and it has no touchscreens, mobile connectivity or cordless phone charging. Airbags? Nice try.
“It’s time to move to a new chapter,” said Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of engineering, who learned to drive in a Defender. “We want to move forward with a new car.”
More here – Bloomberg