The Land Rover Defender may not be sold here in the United States, but its presence in the global automotive marketplace is huge. It's Britain's Wrangler. Much like the Jeep off-roader or even the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, the Defender's core styling and functionality hasn't changed much over the past few decades, and that's just fine with us. However, it looks like the Defender's candle has the potential to burn out soon, according to Auto Express.

Simply put, Land Rover does not have a concrete plan in place regarding what to do with the Defender. In speaking to Auto Express, the automaker's Colin Green said, "If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry's biggest icons, and in that sense it's a tremendous responsibility." We imagine this is why General Motors has taken its sweet time in bringing out the C7 Corvette.

Currently, the Defender is set up to meet Euro V emissions through 2016, but after that, it's unclear what will happen to the British stalwart. One option is to fit cleaner engines under the hood to extend the vehicle's life, and the option of a complete redesign is still being kicked around. Auto Express suggests that an all-new Defender could be built on the same platform as the LR4 and Range Rover Sport, but it would increase cost.

Thankfully, Land Rover says that abandoning the Defender program is its least-preferred option.


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  • 47 Comments
      Synthono
      • 3 Years Ago
      The solution is very simple: Do what Jeep does, keep upgrading steadily as improvements are necessary. This year it's getting a new engine, for instance, which is better in every way than the engine it replaces. No reason Land Rover can't do the same.
        natron3030
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Synthono
        Jeep + Diesel is going to be so kick ass.
          JaredN
          • 3 Years Ago
          @natron3030
          Tommy, Marchionne has stated that the Wrangler will get a diesel engine in the next few years.
      Easy_Eight
      • 3 Years Ago
      They need new a Hilux/70 series competitor. Forget the lifestyle stuff, just make it cheap and tough.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the idea of a spartan bare bones capable off-roader, but not at the prices they are asking for these. It just doesn't add up.
      JR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll say it again. Had a D-90, was nothing but problems. Looked awesome,just wish Toyota or Honda was building them. Would rather have this "Troop Carrier": $75K tho... http://www.toyota.com.au/landcruiser-70-series/specifications/troop-carrier-workmate
        JR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JR
        Youre kidding, right? I think your in the minority.Yes,they are very rebuildable and that what youll be doing. This was from 2007. I had a '95 when things were really bad,,, Enjoy. J.D. Power’s 2007 manufacturer dependability ratings rank Land Rover at the bottom of the list, with owners reporting a total of 398 problems per 100 vehicles during the first three years of ownership. The industry average is 216, while Buick and Lexus got the top spot in 2007 with 145. Suzuki (324), Isuzu (322), Saab (319) and Volkswagen (298) sit directly above Land Rover in the rankings.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JR
          ...and Land Rover is in the top 5 according to the newest surveys.
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe they should smooth the body over, put on low profile street tyres, give it an auto box, put some nice leather interior with a iPhone connectivity. Then they can call it badass Land Rover and millions of posers would want one!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Buckets81
        • 3 Years Ago
        You know that India is a predominantly Hindu country, right? Somebody needs to lay off the Glenn Beck.
        xspeedy
        • 3 Years Ago
        You are freaking ignorant beyond belief. Indians are mostly Hindu with a minority mix of Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs - the ones that are turban wearing.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        TangoR34
        • 3 Years Ago
        Get your ass back to history and see how much harm the Indian has done to the western world. You are probably another fascist who thinks that anyone is a terrorist as long as they have a piece of cloth worn on their heads. In case you don't know Hindu hates Muslim so don't even talk about extreme islam. So just in case you are not trolling. You have lots to learn about the world before talking so much ****. Other wise FJ Cruiser and Xterra sounds a good idea but it's not sold in Europe.
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        Poe's law? God I hope so.
        _M7_
        • 3 Years Ago
        as for the coment ...you are really the bright one on your house, dont you? XD jajjajaaj
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      I literally started crying when I read this. Land Rovers used to be the most tough and rugged vehicles on the planet. They were dead reliable, they were built like a tank, and they could offroad anything short of the moon. I used to love them so much. Then they started turning into luxury SUV's. I still loved them because of their incredible offroad capability, but they just didn't scream "Land Rover!" anymore. Sure, the new ones are tough and rugged, but hey, the original ones were anything but. The Defender, Range Rover Classic, Discovery, even the Freelander. And now they cost too much, get lousy mileage, and have huge repair bills. The Freelander was the last real Land Rover. When I heard that a new Defender was coming out, you couldn't believe how excited I was. I was originally scheduled to buy an LR4 6 months ago, but I postponed it indefinitely just because the rumor was so exciting. Land Rover moving back to its original tough, rugged, Spartan roots! Who wouldn't want that? (other than the soccer moms and buisiness executives) How do you think I feel now, now that the Defender may have been cancelled? Land Rover had a chance to go back to its roots, and they blew it. Just make the Defender, Land Rover. Make a seperate BOF platform ( or you can mooch off Ford's international Ranger'splatform), and price it at Wrangler/ FJ Cruiser levels, and offer Spartan versions only. No luxury.
        natron3030
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Crybaby
        JaredN
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Dead reliable? Built like a tank? Um, no. That's why folks in Africa drive Toyotas these days, rather than Land Rovers. My brother had a Series IIa 88". The frame rusted to oblivion, the floor pans had to be replaced, all the wiring had to be replaced, and he described the halfshafts as "driveline fuses." I love the looks of the Series Land Rovers and the Defenders, along with their offroad capability. But they aren't very reliable and never have been. The old Series Land Rovers had the advantage of being very easy to fix. They were also dog slow on the highway, even with an overdrive.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JaredN
          I went to Tanzania last year for vacation. Yes, they drive a few Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols over there, but the majority are Land Rovers. The people over there swear by Land Rover's reliability. I myself have taken my Freelandeer over 250000 miles, and the only problem I've had was a minor window defect. It has helped me survive several very harsh New Hampshire winters, when several Blazers or XTerras couldn't make it through the snow.
        Buckets81
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        This is how die hard Jeep fans like myself feel about their current lineup, save for the Wrangler. I guess soccer moms outnumber people who love to drive off road.
        British_Rover
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        As someone who sold Land Rovers for years and has driven most every model built for import into the US for the past 30 years, plus a couple that weren't, I can tell that you have no idea what you are talking about. The Disco was not a reliable vehicle at all. The Series I Discos were incredibly expensive to fix and broke down constantly. Yes they could go anywhere when they were running. The Disco IIs were better and the last two years of the New Discovery were much improved compared to previous years. They were still pretty unreliable cars. Classic Range Rovers were in the same boat and P38s were even worse with the air suspension problems. The Freelander was in my opinion the least reliable modern vehicle ever made. Everything on that car broke and everything was difficult to fix. The old classic Series Land Rovers were fairly reliable for their day when compared to other vehicles and they could go about anywhere but compared to modern vehicles are not reliable. I have driven several different classic Series vehicles. I have also pushed them, cursed them, sweated over them and busted my knuckles on them. A LR4 gets better mileage then a LR3 which got better mileage then a Disco II which got better mileage then a Disco I. The P38 range rover was rated at 11 and 14 in 2002 with a total of just 222 hp and 300 ft/lbs of torque. A 2011 Range Rover supercharged with 500 hp is rated at 12 and 18. The Defender will probably eventually migrate to the T4 chassis that underpins the LR3/LR4 and RRS. It is a good platform just heavy but it could work for the Defender. It is very modular and could be build fairly inexpensively with the high end interior parts removed.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @British_Rover
          Read my comment above for the reliability. My dad has 6 Land Rover models, only one of them gave him any problems (it was a series II Discovery), the rest were dead reliable. As for the chassis, the Defender simply won't work in the U.S. market if it's priced above $25 k. I the Defender's main competitors,don't think that anyone would buy the Wrangler, which would be one of the Defender's main competitors if it was positioned at 40 k plus. The Defender needs to stay true to its roots and not become a soccermom mobile like the RR Sport. The T4 chassis is used for $45 k + vehicles only, so I doubt that it could be built as cheaply. Why not just use a real truck platform... in this case the new Ranger's platform.... which is built to be durable and rugged first? The RR Sport is built to bea luxury vehicle first, offroader second. This simply won't fly with the Defender, and it would be expensive to make their own platform. Being based on the Ranger will blow away any percieved reliability issues. As a bonus, the same platform can be utilized to make a range of Tata Suv's. It could simultaniously be used to make a larger, more upscale Indian market SUV that could compete with the Ford Endeavor, Chevy Captiva, and the Mahindra Xylo, and at the same time, the short wheelbase version could be used as a replacement for the Tata Sumo.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        I meant that the original versions were anything but luxurious.
      jeffers389
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here's a thought.......BRING IT TO THE US PLEASE!!!!!! do some design tweaks to add some damn air bags and then more could be sold!!!
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jeffers389
        that would be an utter waste of effort. Even in the 90s, when the Defender had the advantage of coils, it hardly sold, because it was expensive, handbuilt, and gave you almost nothing over what a Jeep could at half the price. If the new Defender is to be built on a the disco platform, again, don't bother.
        Jensen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jeffers389
        This is what will happen. Land Rover will be forced to update the Defender for its home market, which gives the company a perfect opportunity to reintroduce the vehicle to the U.S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they do, Jeep Wrangler will appeal to those customers with new Pentastar V6's and diesels.
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MAX
        They already are. Even 4x4&mpv Driver mag stated the JK Wrangler was better than the Defender. The Toledo plant is struggling to keep up with WORLD demand. Jeep has been able to modernize the wrangler without compromising its original principles, Landrover has let the defender whither to the point where it has fallen way behind.
      Doc
      • 3 Years Ago
      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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