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Land Rover's Revolutionary Vehicles - Defender

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Land Rover's Revolutionary Vehicles - Defender

The first 41 years of Land Rover history saw the creation of rugged all-terrain vehicles as well as a new standard bearer in on-road luxury and refinement. The next 29 years would build upon these principles while constantly pushing the boundaries of both off-road exploration and automotive design.

Read about the legendary Defender becoming the ultimate off-road companion...


    Launched as the Land Rover One Ten and Ninety in 1983 and 1984 respectively, these descendants of the Land Rover Series I were christened with a new name in the early 90s. This name would become legendary even by Land Rover standards when talking about off-road exploration, the name was Defender.

    Marketed as a ‘private recreational vehicle suitable for commercial use’ the One Ten was announced in 1983, with a name derived from the vehicle’s wheelbase in inches. It replaced the ‘Series’ naming convention, the last of which was the Series III released in 1971.

    The rename occurred in 1990 to ensure it differentiated from the Land Rover Discovery launched two years prior. ‘Defender’ script was added to the front grille with the model – either 90, 110 or 130 - badged on the rear. The Defender, as it was now known, came with a 107bhp 200Tdi engine as standard, this would later be replaced by the 111bhp 300Td in 1994. More than 160,000 Defenders were produced in the six years following its renaming.

    Fourteen years of continued success and cult status followed the renaming, and in 2015, Land Rover declared ‘The Year of the Defender’. A series of special events celebrated the evolution of the beloved vehicle over the years, going back to the creation of its Series I ancestor in 1948. These events included a 1km drawing in the sand at Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey, a recreation of the Series I’s inception in the 1940s, and three Defender special editions were created – Heritage, Adventure and Autobiography.

    A historic event in Land Rover history was also marked in 2015 with the production of the two millionth Land Rover vehicle – a Defender built at our plant in Solihull. This bespoke piece of history was auctioned at Bonhams in London with the proceeds going towards Land Rover’s humanitarian partners such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Born Free Foundation. It sold for £400,000.

    2015 also saw the announcement that the Defender would no longer be produced as of the following year. Production of the Defender ended on 29th January 2016 after 68 years of history which began with the Series I.

    Defender built its legacy through hard working capabilities coupled with extraordinary off-road performance driven by everyone, from farmers to royalty.

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7 months ago