Illustration for article titled Was the 2012 Land Rover Defender saved by a new diesel engine?

Land Rover says a new, cleaner diesel engine for the Defender is EU5-compatible. This means that, while the long-awaited, all-new Defender has yet to emerge, the current model's won a short-term fight for survival — at least in Europe.

The new, 2.2-liter oil burner uses a particulate filter to meet compliance with new EU regulations. The new engine retains the horsepower of the previous 2.4-liter diesel — 122hp — and 266 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. The new model tops out at 90 mph, an increase of 8 mph.


Back in 2009, Land Rover was working on something they called "Project Icon," which was supposed to be the new Defender for the 2012 model year. That obviously didn't happen. Since being bought by Tata, they're now moving further into lifestyle territory with the Evoque.

But that doesn't mean the Defender's dead. In fact, Land Rover will be showing a new Defender concept at the Frankfurt show next month. The company's looking at a production version of this "new Defender," which will be expandable and adaptable for army versions, to hit the battlefield in 2015, and projects they must sell 60,000-80,000 units to make money.

We're hoping that becomes a reality. But at least for the moment, the current Defender's got a new lease on life with this new diesel engine.

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