Land Rover Says The Defender Will Be Dead In A Couple Of Years

Illustration for article titled Land Rover Says The Defender Will Be Dead In A Couple Of Years

It's been 16 long years since you could legally buy Land Rover's longest-lived and most iconic vehicle in the US of A. And soon, it'll be impossible for anyone anywhere to buy a new Defender.


Automotive News Europe reported it spoke to a Land Rover official who said the current Defender will die "by the middle of the decade due to legislative reasons."

Those "legislative reasons" might have something to do with the fact the Defender is a decades-old design that lacks any airbags or modifications for pedestrian accidents or any of the safety features modern cars have now.

Land Rover was supposed to have solved all of this with the introduction of the new Defender previewed by the DC100 Concept shown a couple of years ago. However, there's apparently a problem with building a financial case for this modern Defender. At this rate, even if it does get the official go-ahead, a production version won't show up in a showroom before the end of the decade.

Even in Europe where it's still on sale new, Defenders haven't exactly been a hot seller. Fewer than 600 were sold through the first 8 months of 2013.

Of course, you could always just buy a used one, but be careful. There have been some legal issues with Defenders in the U.S.


Photo: Land Rover



Self-righteous European and American legislators will be the death of the automobile industry as we know it. They've already ruined automotive design beyond reparation thanks to pedestrian safety (which, by the way, is the most incredibly lame-brained idea on the automotive legislation front to date). Now, as more and more legislation passes, we see the legends start to fall.

Do realize, the large majority of these regulations, especially those relating to pedestrian safety, are entirely perceived improvements to make people feel better. Sure, you shouldn't have a cattle-flipper with giant spikes on the front of your Hyundai, but did popup headlights ever kill anyone? If they did, they shouldn't have been standing in the the road in the first place.

Now, things like airbag exemptions and other driver safety systems and aids are a similar, but different proposition. What it basically comes down to is, the purchaser of the vehicle should be able to assume all risks of driving that vehicle. If someone wants a damn Defender without an airbag let them buy it! If someone wants a CTS that buzzes their ass when they're not paying attention and about to back into a pole, so be it!

The world is place where there will always be winners and losers, geniuses and idiots. Trying to control that will only cause problems.