Land Rover will mark a gradual winding down of its current Defender with three special edition models and a huge drawing in the sand.
The three limited edition Defender models, Autobiography, Heritage and Adventure, will celebrate different elements of the vehicle’s character before UK production of the current car ceases and a successor is produced.
The Land Rover Defender Autobiography Edition car promises improved performance, luxury and comfort. It features a power upgrade from 122PS to 150PS, full Windsor leather upholstery and a comprehensive equipment list. Only 80 Defender Autobiography Editions will be available in the UK. It’ll be produced exclusively as a 90 Station Wagon and is priced from £61,845.
The Heritage Edition, inspired by early Land Rover models, mixes nostalgic design cues with modern elements. It’s finished in a Grasmere Green paint job and contrasting white roof, with a heritage grille and HUE 166 graphics, harking back to the registration plate of the first ever Land Rover, nicknamed ‘Huey’. 400 examples will be built, with prices starting from £27,800.
Finally, the Adventure Edition is fitted with extra underbody protection and Goodyear MT/R tyres, improving the Defender’s already stellar off-roading capabilities. 500 Adventure Editions will be made available in the UK, priced at £43,495 for all versions.
Land Rover will also mark the Defender’s passing with a series of celebratory events and art installations. This begun in early January with a massive 1km-long sand drawing at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, UK — the place where the original Defender was penned — using a fleet of six Land Rovers as the ‘brush’ and the sand as the ‘easel’.
The drawing will pay tribute to the moment in 1947 when Maurice Wilks, the engineering director of Rover, first sketched the shape of the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover’s managing director.
To create the drawing, Land Rover used Series I, II and II vehicles, as well as a Ninety mode from the Eighties, a Defender 90 Hard Top and a Defender 110 Station Wagon.
Of course Steven and Nick, the sons of Maurice and Spencer Wilks, were on hand to help draw the continuous 4.52km line using the Series II, which once belonged to the Wilks family, before it was erased forever by the incoming tide.
More Defender celebration events are planned.
Land Rover Vehicle Line Director Nick Rogers said: ““Passion and enthusiasm surround everything we do with Defender, and that will never change. With a history stretching back 68 years, this is a Land Rover that has thrived for decades on its unquestionable capability and iconic shape. I now have the honour of being one of the many enthusiasts at Land Rover committed to creating a fitting successor to the legendary Defender.”