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Land Rover Defender gone for now, but will be back


The 68-year run of the classic Land Rover ends in Australia next month. For now.

Land Rover has plans to renew its bedrock model for 2017 and has already shown some teaser concept vehicles under the tag DC100.

The final shipment of the "original" — now called the Defender — will be in showrooms in just over a month.

The last batch of Aussie Landies came down the line at the Solihull factory in the weeks before the very last Land Rover, a light-green Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top, was built on Friday, January 29.

Its completion was the focus of a giant celebration, attended by 700 people and including a parade of 25 historic models.

"The final shipment will arrive in March. There are 140 vehicles, split 50-50 between the Defender 90 and 110," says Land Rover spokesman Tim Krieger. "The bulk of them are already sold. The colours are white, black, grey and green."

The first Land Rovers arrived in Australia in 1948 and sold for about £700 ($1400). They were used chiefly for farming and construction work.

The new-generation vehicle will not be as extreme as the DC100 concept cars created in 2011 by chief designer Gerry McGovern

The Defender 90 currently lists at $42,800 and the 110 is $47,500.

Defender production having ended, Jaguar Land Rover in Britain has plans for a Heritage Restoration Program to refurbish and recommission older cars from around the world.

The work will be done by a team of experts including some long-serving Defender workers, and the first vehicles are expected to go on sale in July.

Company chief Ralf Speth confirms the return of a 21st century Defender.

"This is not the end. We have a glorious past to champion and a wonderful future to look forward to," he says.

Land Rover insiders hint that the new-generation vehicle, which is already close to completion in Britain, will not be as extreme as the DC100 concept cars created in 2011 by chief designer Gerry McGovern.

  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts
  • Land Rover DC100 concepts Land Rover DC100 concepts

There will be a range of vehicles and they will maintain the go-anywhere ability of the original.

Says chief engineer Nick Rogers: "The last of the current Defender models embraces the vehicle's simplicity, honesty and charm.

"Creating the Defender of tomorrow, a dream for any engineer or designer, is the next exciting chapter and we are looking forward to taking on that challenge."

Will you miss the classic Land Rover Defender? Tell us in the comments below.