The Defender isn't actually 75 years old, but Land Rover is letting that technicality hold it back…
By John Howell / Wednesday, 14 September 2022 / Loading comments
The Land Rover Defender is coming up to 75 years old. Core blimey, that’s something, isn’t it? It’s a diamond jubilee. Except technically the Defender isn’t 75 years old, of course. The Defender is 32 years old, because that’s when the name first appeared – in 1990, post-Discovery. That made Land Rover the manufacturer brand and Defender became the model name for its longest-standing and most rugged model.
Right then, with that bout of pedantry out the way, what we’re celebrating here is 75 years of the Series 1. The car that appeared at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948 and became a bit of a hit with the four-wheel-drive fraternity. And you didn’t think Land Rover would forget to mark the occasion, did you? And guess how?
A special edition of the current (and very good) Land Rover Defender, called the Defender 75th Limited Edition. Whether this will go down a storm with collectors in the same way the 2015 Heritage Edition did – which marked the end of the original car’s reign – who knows. But only a fool would bet against it becoming collectable to some degree in the coming years.
The Defender 75th Limited Edition comes in both 90 and 110 wheelbases with exclusive Grasmere Green paintwork – the same 1940s hue as the Heritage Edition. That iconic shade is mirrored in the colour of the five-spoke, 20-inch alloys, which come shod with all-terrain tyres, while the bumpers are Ceres Silver and there’s a ’75 Years’ badge on the rear door.
Inside, the majority of the trim is black, which includes ‘Resist Ebony’ seat facings. But this is punctuated by more Grasmere Green tones wherever there’s a body-coloured element. In the current Defender that includes sections of the door trims and the ‘Cross Car Beam’, which is the strip that runs the length of the dashboard. At each end of the dashboard – where the doors shut against – is another laser-etched ‘75 Years’ badge. The ‘hockey stick’ gear lever is trimmed in Robustec – as the name suggests, that’s the most robust fabric in Land Rover’s portfolio.
Engine options include the P400e plug-in hybrid, but for the 110 version only, or highly impressive D300 Ingenium six-cylinder mild hybrid diesel. That is smooth, torquey and efficient. The 75th Limited Edition also comes with everything that makes the current Defender so complete off-road. For example, the latest Configurable Terrain Response system, a high and low transfer box and fully independent, coil-sprung suspension, with double wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear – including secondary springs incorporated within the rear suspension to help the ride.
Then there’s the luxury kit. This is basically what comes with a regular HSE, which is what the 75th Limited Edition is based on, plus a few additions. We’re talking niceties such as a 14-way heated electric memory front seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, a Meridian sound system, Matrix LED headlights, a head-up display, wireless phone charging and an 11.4-inch touchscreen with Pivi Pro software. And the additions include the things that have become popular options, such as the towing pack, headlamp power wash, an electrically adjustable steering column, Secure Tracker Pro and a three-pin plug socket. The 75th Limited Edition model also has a fabric folding roof as standard with the option of an opening panoramic glass sunroof and roof rails.
Alongside the 75th Limited Edition, Land Rover has launched a few accessories celebrating its diamond jubilee year. Once again, the Grasmere Green colour theme is in evidence throughout the range of lifestyle accoutrements, which include a ‘minimalist unique watch featuring two straps’ (no? me neither), a ‘functional backpack’ (which is good because a dysfunctional one isn’t worth much) and clothing with ‘75 Years graphics and detail’. We haven’t got the accessories’ prices yet but we can tell you that the actual car, the Defender 75th Limited Edition, is available now and priced from £85,995 if you want the 90 and £89,995 if you need the bigger 110.
Stuart Frith, Lifecycle Chief Engineer Defender, said: “Since revealing the new Defender, customers around the globe have fallen in love with it and demand remains extremely strong. This new Limited Edition captures the spirit of the past 75 years, with its colour and detailing, and fuses it with innovative new technology such as Hybrid Electric power, Configurable Terrain Response, software over the air updates and unrivalled all-terrain capability.”
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