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As far back as I can remember, Land Rover has had an established practice of issueing a statement, only to do the opposite a few months later. As late as Ist quarter, 1992, Colin Green personally wrote me to say Land Rover had No plans to market the Discovery in North America. Guess what appeared that fall? Must have been a spur of the moment decision (which probably saved the company).
They recently stated that they would no longer offer the TD5 in the Defender, after this year, but have also said that they will introduce a new platform, to replace the Defender, in 2007. That leaves 2006 in question. Will there be no Defenders produced in 2006, or will they produce them but use a different engine, presumably the BMW diesel? Who knows what they will do, but it is certain, the Defender sales have been falling for several years and despite having a 22 year run, quality is pretty much unchanged. My instinct tells me that Ford knows what the consumers of the blood and guts, no frills Land Rover want, so it's not likely to be some testosterone injected high street cruiser, or Chelsea tractor, but hopefully a new, improved utility truck with the spirit and capability of a real Land Rover, but with the quality and safety features necessary to sell it worldwide. Everyone seems to think that the US is the only placee you can't buy a Defender because we've set too demanding a safety standard, but the EU, as well as many other countries have ever tightening requirements for both safety and emmissions, that the present Defender will soon be without much of any market except for the most rural areas. While there are vast area of open spaces in S. Africa, Australia, and the US, the vehicle still needs to meet the requirements of the most urban areas like Capetown, Sydney, and Los Angeles.
 

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ive found this info from a forum..Read on

Land Rover managing director Matthew Taylor has told the US consumer website www.thecarconnection.com that there will not be a new version of the Defender to meet collision regulations. Land Rover had been working on a replacement, but the production level of 25,000 per year did not justify the investment. However, he also said that production of the Defender would carry on indefinitely, as cost reduction moves had made it profitable to continue production at this present level (it was probably the most labour intensive vehicle to come out of a Western factory).

HTH
 

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I can add the following, from the variosu theories and info that can be gained from the (highly cryptic and unreliable) sources at Land Rover that crop up from time to time:

As has been said, Land Rover change what they say about their future model line-up about every week or so, so some of this won't make much sense.

The current Defender is expected to stay around until 2008/9, when the new EU regulations on Pedestrian Safety standards mean that the flat front, metal bumper and high ground clearance of the tradtional 4x4s will have to go.

The T5 chassis (as already used in the Disco 3 and the Range Rover Sport) should form the basis of the new model. Ford being Ford, the company is likely to drastically alter the model range. At the moment there are 9 standard Defender vehicles on the 3 standard chassis sizes, many of which don't sell (when was the last time you saw a Td5 110 pick-up that wasn't an HCPU?). Sales of Defender Station Wagons have increased with the introduction of the all-singing all-dancing XS models, so these are likely to form the core of the new model range, with a Hard Top and Dual Cab completing the range. Unlike now, where the Station Wagons are Vans with seats, these utility models are going to Station Wagons with the seats removed (if that makes sense- I mean that the Defender is going to be designed to be a mainly passenger-carrying car).

There are rumours from some quarters of an all-new utility model based on the Disco III coil-sprung chassis to compete in the 'luxury pick up' market that is huge in the USA and is picking up in the UK with the high-spec Mitsubishi L200s and their type.

The Td5 engine will not be able to meet the next batch of Euro emissions regulations (Euro V, I think) without serious re-working. Since the Defender is now the only vehicle to use this engine (and sells small numbers) it makes sense to replace it with an existing unit to see the current Defender to the end of its life. The TdV6 won't fit. The most likely choice is the 2.4-litre 4-cylinder 'Puma' Common Rail TD engine used in the Ford Transit van, which from what I've read is an excellent engine.

My personal opinion is that the Defender will remain a workhorse at heart. Ford must surely know that the Defender is still 'THE Land Rover' that most people think of when they hear the word, and its image as a tough, no-frills go-anywhere vehicle is what makes all the others so desirable.
 

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I think it is a safe bet that Ford will manage to completely ruin the defender, just like it did the discovery. The LR3, as sophisticated as it is, is now just another SUV on the road, with nothing unique. I am sure FORD will ruin the beauty of the defender as well. Just like GM ruined Saab, Ford is follwing suit and ruining land rover. I apologize on behalf of American car makers, who truely ought to find new jobs.

Matt
 

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In my opinion (an unpopular one, I know), Ford have not destroyed the Discovery with the Disco 3.

The Discovery was always meant to be a 4x4 that could be used as a versatile on-road People Carrier / MPV, but one that had class-leading off-road abilities as well.

The Disco Series I (such as my family own) was always comprimised on-road by the technology of the time. You simply couldn't build a vehicle that could be world-beating off-road ability and yet handle like a car on-road. The two fields require totally different design.

I am someone who like to think of the Defender as a no-frills working tool (like my Series III). I would love to see an all-mechanical diesel like the TDI back under the bonnet. But I know that regulations and buisness sense are against it.

However, the Discovery is largely sold to people who are not willing to comprimise. Modern cars are so sophisticated that to get them into a 4x4 Land Rover have to offer a vehicle that is a car on the road but a 4x4 off it. Modern technology can give this (adjustable suspension, dual throttle maps etc. etc.) and so to my mind filling the Disco 3 with technology is exactly what's needed. In the Defender- NO. Discovery- YES.

The Disco 3 is still unique. It is the only family 4x4 on the market that can be an executive saloon in the morning, a family MPV in the afternoon and a mud-plugging 4x4 at the weekends- straight from the showroom, no modifications.
Name me one other 4x4 that can do that as well as the D3 can.

Now that's unique.

The old Disco Series I was beaten in a few respects by its competitors (Mitsubishi Shogun Mark 2 especially- a far better tow vehicle and much better on-road). The Series II was better but only just. The Disco 3 is head and shoulders above all its competitors and is surely the first Discovery to be something truely unique.
 

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yes there is one: Defender 110 Tdi

I live in Sao Paulo catering Financial Market Services to Ultrahighnetworth Individuals. I use the car to bring my two girls(they prefer it to my wife's Citroen....) to school :clap: . I go to work, fighting my way through the 18 Mio inhabitants city, where no reliable public transport exists, picking up people at the airport, driving up to the most fancy restaurants :drink1: , where people show up with Porsche Cayenne (armored), Maserati Quatroporte and still getting the tru valet parking attention.
On the week-end we drive truly offroad. :rellye
You identify the sound of the defender :drive: is as characteristic as the sound of a Ferrari, when you hear it a block away :wave: . Any other 4x4 in SP such as Discovery, Mitsubishi, Toyota you need definitely to consider making it bullet proof for safety reasons.
There might be many rational arguments to discontinue the Defender, but cars have to do with emotions, which you don't feel looking at a LS200 or similar products, notwithstanding any EU or US safety regulations...
Ah finally, it is the only vehicle that regularly greets eachother in this huge city, when they cross... :wave:
 

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Just read in this months "Landrover Owners International" that the Defender is going to be built for some years to come. They are only turning out 25,000 a year but still making a profit. They are going to improve profit more buy moving the build to overseas. The Defender is still mainly hand built so its pretty man hours intensive unlike the disco which is made with robots. Apperently the development of the replacement Defender has been shelved for another couple of years. This means we arnt going to see any sign of a new one till the back end of this decade. More over its thought that even with a new defender on the production line, the current defender is still going to be made over seas concurently.

The bad news is there are no plans for a US spec defender (current style) to be built before the end of production.. The good news (for some people) is that it will be getting a new engine before end of production.

Grab a copy of this months LRO to read the article I got this info from. If you cant get hold of one then ask me and I'll scan it when I'm home in a week or two.
 

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Hi all

Does it really mater what they do with the defender or even if they no longer make them ?

In the days when all farmers owned a landrover it had a huge market and fitted in well with the period. Now people are becoming soft and delicate and they want to reproduce there cosy home enviroment in there vehicles, which the poor old defender cannot provide. So hence the boom in SUV sales which can give them their creature comforts. Could anyone imagine landrover building a freelander twenty years ago, it would just not have fitted into the company profile or been accepted by the public, but now when not all men are men and human rights allow terrorist to roam free on our streets it fits in well. Take a closer look at some SUV drivers and you will see a pattern !

Ok the basic design of the defender is very good for what it was designed to do and I think the design peaked with the 300Tdi, but now is on the slope to nowhere. It always had it's faults but then because of it's capabilities these were just accepted as part of it's character. If you want a good workhorse that can take you anywhere and one that you would trust your life with then landrover never made one. What they gave us was the main ingredients that with it's basic mechano construction allowed anyone to make it go wherever they wanted it to go or do with some work.

I think one of the great things about a defender is that its so basic and is why I would not buy, own or use a TD5 because I do not want engine or transmission electronics or gimicks like heated mirrors or electric windows.

So Landrover as an OEM has to comply with legislation and therefore has it's hands tied as far as design, so they have to go with the flow. We can just step aside and let landrover go wherever it is going knowing we already own the best products they ever produced and apart from some parts we can continue to enjoy our landys without them.
 

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I agree compleatly :clap: . Its just a shame that in about 70 years time, the best off roader in the world isnt going to be strong enough to be battered the way we batter them and the world will be without ago anywhere vehicle.
 

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URdiscovery said:
I think it is a safe bet that Ford will manage to completely ruin the defender, just like it did the discovery. The LR3, as sophisticated as it is, is now just another SUV on the road, with nothing unique. I am sure FORD will ruin the beauty of the defender as well. Just like GM ruined Saab, Ford is follwing suit and ruining land rover. I apologize on behalf of American car makers, who truely ought to find new jobs.

Matt
AMEN ! :clap:
 

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The people at Solihull must be terrified whenever the talk comes around to the Defender replacement.

How do you replace a vehicle that has only had one real design change in 57 years? That has been sold and used in practically every country on the face of the earth? That has a fanatically loyal enthusiast following? That still has 70% of its predecessors on the go today?

The Tdi and Td5 Defenders will probably be looked at as the peak of the utility Land Rover- the Tdi engines are reliable, easy to service and easy to use, whilst the Td5 is better on- and off-road, but is too complex for some users (and definitly not to my taste).

The next Defender will probably still have a seperate chassis and coil-spring suspension, but probably not the live axles. It may not have the mechanical gearbox/diff lock controls. Land Rover have said they want Terrain Response to 'filter down throughout the range' which doesn't sound promising for those of us who like to use a Defender as we want to, not as a computer tells us. A van-body commerical version is a possibility, but truck cabs will be out, as will the bolt-together quick-change bodywork. Station Wagons and Dual Cabs will the mainstay of the range.

If that is the case, I won't be getting one, and I doubt many of Land Rover's remaining utility customers, farmers and wilderness users will either.

My ideal Land Rover is a late-model Series III or a pre-Defender coil-sprung- the combination of easy-to-live-with interiors, enough comfort and performance for me, bomb-proof mechanicals and excellent off-road ability is a winning one.
 
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