Some cars grow old and die, others mature with age - Land Rover’s Defender, however, is probably immortal.
Comprehensive changes are scheduled for the 2007 Defender, which won’t realy make it look or feel much different but give the impression that the old-skool military mud-plugger can cut it with the best of the modern options on the market.
Based on a 1948 design, the Defender has sold almost 2 million units, making it one of the best selling models in history. Since its revamp in 2002, Land Rover are still shifting 25,000 of them every year. Now, though, there’s a new 2.4-litre common rail diesel unit, a six-speed gearbox (amazing for a car with a rather modest top whack of just 82mph), fully integrated fascia, more comfy seating with a third-row option, and a revamped heating and air-con system.
With the extra practicality and comfort, it’s clear that Land Rover is trying to position the Defender in a very lucrative market - the school-run-mum brigade.
Land Rover managing director Phil Popham said: “We’re building on Defender’s success with a package of improvements that will extend its off-road abilities even further, while transforming on-road refinement and comfort. These changes represent a significant vote of confidence in a product which is the foundation of Land Rover’s reputation for off-road excellence; we believe these enhancements will win the hearts and minds of new and existing customers alike”.
And all this without compromising on the Defender’s monster off-road abilities. There are few vehicles as capable on the rough stuff as the this one, so if you’re kids go to school on top of mountain or in a peat bog, there really is no other option. Look out for under-sill LED lighting, pumping sound system and jewel-encrusted petrol cap on future models. Probably.