Perhaps the most iconic vehicle ever to wear a Land Rover badge will be killed off in late 2015.
The Indian-owned pride of Britain will stop manufacturing its unmistakable off-roader in about two years because of emissions standards, with a successor planned to replace it the following year. Even after 65 years of production, the car has enough fans that people make a business out of smuggling them into the U.S.
The “Defender” name didn’t exist when they were introduced in 1948. At the time, they were just called the Land Rover and was a product of the Rover Company.
Fast-forward and many, many things have changed. India’s Tata now owns JLR, Land Rover’s products are known mainly for the spoiled bottoms they carry rather than what they’re carrying them over, and the best-selling model is a unibody front-wheel drive-based toy made with plenty of Ford parts.
But all’s well that ends well, as the old saying goes, and the company really shouldn’t be criticized for finding ways to support itself. After all, any brand unwilling or unable to keep up is likely to wind up like those God-awful Commodore computers.
And JLR is adapting. There will be a forthcoming model that can live up to stricter C02 regulations. Three years ago, Land Rover began parading its DC100 concept around the auto show circuit. Expect the successor to pay tribute to ye olde in spirit, but not necessarily in price.
GALLERY: Land Rover Defender LXV
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