LIMITED EDITION DEFENDER: Land Rover's African Edition Defender arrives in SA. Only 50 units will be available. Image: Land Rover
PRETORIA – Land Rover’s most iconic model, the Defender, has become even more geared for the great African outdoors courtesy of a new 'Africa Edition', says the automaker.
The Africa Edition, says Land Rover, builds on the legend that is Defender, and "gives the faithful the opportunity to own a vehicle that not only has a unique look but also an array of features that enhance its workmanlike persona."
The limited edition rolls nearly 70 years of "hard-core, 4x4ing capability into one unmistakeable package".
Just 50 are available, of which 30 are 110 station wagons with the balance built on the 90" platform.
All carry a ‘Defender Africa’ logo on the sides and rear. It's equipped with black ‘Sawtooth’ alloys shod with 235/85/16 Goodyear Wrangler MTR dual-purpose tyres and has a distinctive red roof. It'only available in black with colour-coded wheel arches.
Interior highlights include a set of acclaimed Melvill and Moon seat covers in black canvas with red leather piping, red contrast stitching and a unique Africa map tag. A CD/tuner with MP3 compatibility includes an auxiliary input and Bluetooth interface.
It's powered by a 90kW/360Nm 2.2-litre turbodiesel. A range of optional extras are available.
Land Rover Defender 90 Africa Edition - R523 00
Land Rover Defender 90 Africa Edition 110 - R562 000.
Due to government and safety regulations, the venerable Defender line will be chopped. Land Rover announced it will cease production of its iconic 4x4 in 2015.
Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said: "Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide."
According to the automaker: "Defender production in its current format will stop at the end of 2015. A replacement will join the Land Rover model range but we have announced neither the name nor details of the new product.
"The Defender in its current format is coming to an end and we are looking at options."
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“Why throw all that intellectual property away…” Wheels24 reader Rod Bowes suggest that Land Rover continues to build its Defender, though on a limited scale.
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“As a Defender-lover, I accept that it’s inevitable that production of the current design has to end,” writes reader DANIE GOUWS, about Land Rover’s iconic 4x4.
Do you think there are some things that just shouldn't be touched, anchors in motoring history, such as Defender. Let's have your views by emailor in the Readers' Comments section below.