Land Rover Defender Special Editions Mark End of Production
Heritage, Autobiography, and Adventure trucks celebrate 68-year run.
After 68 years, 2015 marks the final year of U.K. production of the Land Rover Defender,and Land Rover is celebrating its iconic off-roader with a limited run of three different special editions of the Defender. Called Autobiography, Heritage, and Adventure, these models will be available in limited numbers and will be available only in the U.K. starting this spring.
The Autobiography edition Defender is a luxury-focused version of the usually rugged and utilitarian SUV, featuring a full Windsor leather interior, with upgraded aluminum interior accents, including the dials and climate controls. While all three special editions are powered by Land Rover's 2.2 liter four-cylinder diesel engine, the Autobiography edition features a healthy power and torque boost, going from 120 hp to 148 hp, and 265 ft lbs to 295 ft lbs of torque. The Autobiography is available with special, dual-color paint options, and is only available in the Defender 90 Station Wagon layout. Pricing begins at £61,845 ($93,536) and is limited to a scant 80 units.
For those Land Rover enthusiasts seeking nostalgia, the Heritage Edition Defender is a retro-inspired special edition aimed at evoking the earliest days of the icon. Available only in the legendary Grasmere Green with a contrasting Alaska White roof, the Heritage Edition features a retro front grille with classic Land Rover badging, and unique "HUE 166" side graphics, a reference to the registration plate on the very first production Defender, nicknamed 'Huey', in 1948. The Heritage Edition is shod with heavy-duty steel wheels, and features a few upgraded leather trimmings on the interior. The Heritage Edition can be had as a Defender 90 Hard Top, a Defender 90 Station Wagon, and a Defender 110 Station Wagon. Pricing starts at £27,800 ($42,045), and is limited to 400 units.
The Adventure Edition Defender is the most capable of the new commemorative trio. Fitted with additional underbody protection for rocky terrain and large Goodyear MT/R all-terrain tires, the Adventure Edition also comes standard with the Defender Expedition roof rack, snorkel, and rear-access ladder. Those wishing to continue the off-road fun after the sun sets will be happy to know the Adventure Edition comes with upgraded Projector LED headlamps, and the Defender 'Bright' lighting package. The Adventure Edition shares some features with the luxury-focused Autobiography Edition as well, with the full Windsor leather interior upholstery package, and the same power bump for Adventure Edition Defender 90 Station Wagons. This package is available on the Defender 90 Station Wagon, and Defender 110 Station Wagon variants. Prices for the Adventure Edition begin at £43,495 ($65,783), and will be limited to 600 units.
The company also performed an interesting stunt to honor the end of the incredible 68-year production run. Land Rover created a one-kilometer outline of a Defender in the sands of Red Wharf Bay, where in 1948, Maurice Wilks sketched the first outline of what came to be known as the Defender into the beach sand. Six Defenders from various model generations towed 12-foot-wide agricultural harrows in a coordinated pattern, resulting in the largest sand drawing ever made in the U.K.
While production of the Land Rover Defender is coming to a close in the U.K., the manufacturer has stated it is looking into the possibility of extending the Defender lineup for overseas production, in non-European or American markets. Facing stringent regulations in Europe, a continuation of the Defender would only see production and sale in outside markets, with India as a primary option.