DEFENDER'S LAST HURRAH: Land Rover's new Heritage (top) and Adventure limited edition Defenders will arrive in South Africa in September 2015. Only 215 units are available, so order now. Image: Land Rover
Land Rover is giving its iconic Defender, due to end production in December 2015, a great send-off with 12 months of celebrations through 2015.
Festivities started in January when Land Rover created a kilometre-wide drawing of Defender’s instantly recognisable silhouette on the beach at Red Wharf Bay, off the Welsh coast island of Anglesey.
It's where Maurice Wilks drew an outline in the sand of the first Land Rover back in 1947.
The beach artwork coincides with two limited-edition Defenders headed for South Africa - the new Heritage and Adventure editions.
CELEBRATING THE DEFENDER
The Celebration Defenders can be ordered through any Land Rover or Jaguar Land Rover dealer in South Africa and the first units will be delivered in September 2015. Only 215 will be available for South Africa with prices to be announced closer to that time.
The Defender will continue to be honoured all over the world, including the 2015 Land Rover Festival in Gauteng over August 22/23. According to Land Rover: "Fans will gather to share their Defender stories, and also see off Kingsley Holgate as he embarks on another epic adventure into Africa."
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Defender Heritage, Adventure limited editions
VIDEO: 2015 Land Rover Defender beach tribute
LIMITED EDITION DEFENDERS
The Heritage Edition is inspired by early Land Rover models sporting nostalgic design cues, original green paintwork and a contrasting white roof. It has a “heritage” grille and HUE 166 graphics, recalling the registration number of the first pre-production Land Rover nicknamed ‘Huey’. SA will receive 130 Heritage Editions in the 110 Station Wagon body style and 50 in the 90 Station Wagon body.
Read: The Land Rover story - from the start
The Adventure Edition, says Land Rover, is aimed at Land Rover customers “who relish the great outdoors and embrace the Defender’s ‘go anywhere, do anything’ attitude”. It comes fitted with additional underbody protection and Goodyear MT/R tyre, unique decals and leather-trimmed cabin. Of the Adventure Edition Defenders allocated to South Africa, 15 will be in the 90 Station Wagon body style, while 20 will be in the 110 Station Wagon body style.
The Heritage Edition is a modern interpretation of the famous HUE 166 Land Rover – the first pre-production Series I vehicle, nicknamed ‘Huey’, which dates back to 1947.
It has green metallic exterior, white roof, heritage-style grille, special headlight surrounds, body-coloured wheel arches, mudflaps with Heritage logo and heavy-duty steel rims. Other nostalgic touches include its silver front bumper, clear indicator lenses and silver door releases. It has aluminium badging to the grille grille and rear bodywork inspired by the Series I and II models.
Inside, it has perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, aluminium trim for the air vents, door releases and door locks, cloth seats with heritage and HUE 166 logos. It also has durable rubber floor mats and a padded glove box.
Heritage Edition in detail:
• Unique Grasmere Green metallic paintwork with body colour wheel arches
• Unique white roof
• Silver front bumper with black end-caps
• Heritage-style grille and headlight surrounds
• Body-coloured heavy-duty steel rims
• Clear indicator lenses
• Silver door hinges
• Heritage badges
• Heritage-logo mud flaps
• Bright-aluminium finished clock and air-vent bezels
• Aluminium interior door releases and locks
• Perforated leather on steering-wheel, gear-shifter and hand-brake lever
• Almond cloth upholstery with vinyl sides and backs
• Padded cubby
• Heritage logo rubber mats
According to Land Rover: "The enhance the Defender’s already impressive off-road credentials, the Adventure Edition features distinctive new under-body protection for the side sills and engine sump, while Goodyear MT/R tyres promise to make the most of whatever grip is on offer.
It's available in three colours (grey, white and orange) and all paintjobs have contrasting black details for the grille, bonnet, roof, doors, headlights and wheel arches.
It sports 17cm LED projector headlights, clear front indicators and black, split-spoke, diamond-turned alloy rims. The front wings feature 90 and 110 decals.
Inside it has leather upholstery (available in four different colours), perforated leather inserts, contrast stitching, leather-trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake as well as aluminium trim.
Adventure Edition in detail:
• Grey, white or orange paintwork
• Black ‘Adventure’ grille, wheel arches, bonnet, roof, and rear door
• 17cm LED projector headlights
• Clear indicator lenses
• Under-body sill and sump protectors
• Atlas ‘Defender’ bonnet script
• Black split-spoke diamond-turned alloy rims
• Goodyear MT/R tyres with white lettering
• Bright pack
• Decals on front wings
• Leather upholstery
• Leather front passenger facia
• Leather-trimmed door panels
• Bright aluminium-finish clock and air-vent bezels
• Aluminium interior door releases and locks
• Bright finish/rubber pedals
• Black centre console
• Leather-wrapped steering-wheel
• Perforated leather on gear-shifter, hand-brake lever and grab handles
• Black headlining
• Heritage logo mats
67 YEARS OF LAND ROVER
According to Land Rover: “From our earliest days, the desire to create a vehicle that will tackle any terrain has made Land Rover famous around the world. Over the past 67 years, the Land Rover family has grown into the highly respected range of vehicles that are sold in record numbers today and the Defender can trace its roots back to the very first models to roll off the Solihull production line at Lode Lane in Birmingham.”
Land Rover timeline:
1947 - Land Rover project approved
1948 - The Land Rover is launched at the Amsterdam auto show on 30th April
1948 - First station wagon introduced.
1949 - British Army orders its first Land Rovers
1950 - Freewheel 4x4 system replaced by selectable two or four-wheel-drive
1953 - Long-wheelbase version introduced
1957 - Diesel engine introduced
1958 - Series II Land Rover unveiled with more refined styling
1959 - 250 000th vehicle produced
1961 - Series IIA with 2.25 diesel
1966 - 500 000th vehicle produced
1968 - Headlights move position to the front wings
1970 - Best year of sales with 56 663 vehicles retailed
1971 - Land Rover Series III launched; 750 000th Land Rover produced
1976 - 1 000 000th Land Rover built
1979 - V8 engine option introduced in March
1983 - Land Rover goes coil sprung with introduction of One Ten
1984 - Land Rover Ninety introduced
1990 - Land Rovers are re-launched and renamed Defender 90, 110 and 130 with new 2.5-litre turbo-charged direct injection diesel engine
1992 - Land Rover North America is founded with a limited edition of 500 Defender 110 vehicles powered by the 3.9 litre V8 engine
1993 - Land Rover North America follows up the success of the launch of the Defender 110 with the Defender 90 soft top
2007 - Defender evolution includes addition of six-speed gearbox
2012 - New 2.2-litre diesel engine replaces previous 2.4-litre unit
2013 - LXV Special Edition celebrates 65 years of Land Rover