back to article Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

The iconic Land Rover Defender is to cease production today after 33 years in continuous production. Built by Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull factory, the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Land Rover was conceived by …

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    very good analogy with the AK47. Simple, durable, timeless ,

    but not as good as modern equivalents

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And much like the Kalashnikov Klassic, heavy, uncomfortable, unweildy and inefficient.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Exactly. The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yet

        the rest of the world continues to keep with the 47 over the 74.

        The Russians understood that the way to beat a Western enemy is to wound one and at least two will be taken off the field.

        the rest of the world wants that big ol' 7.62 to eliminate the ideologically and/or chemically motivated target that it's similarly fortified fellows will leave behind without a thought.

        Both NATO and former Warsaw Pact bureaucracies designed their militaries to fight each other, and with blinders on, ignored the rest of the world. Notice how the 7.62/.308 is coming back into favor among NATO weapons systems over the last decade as some people start getting the clue.

        Sometimes big, heavy, and British is the solution. Whether .303, or Winston Churchill, or Land Rover Defender, you need weight to throw around that can "go the distance".

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: yet

          The reason for the return of the 7.62/.308 is the longer engagement distances inherent in today’s wars. 5.56 etc does not have the range.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: yet

            Please.

            No-one is "going back" to FAL battle rifle or old AKM, but of course stocks exists, same as you can find admittedly glorious fascist MP-44 in Middle East.

            Indeed, AK series have moved on to AK-103 since long time, comrade. Now even very different AK-107 being considered for general usage.

          2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: yet

            Assault rifles were developed with two ideas: each soldier carries a weapon capable of full auto fire and the maximum effective range is about 500m. First had sub requirements of lightness and control. All could be achieved by using an intermediate size round. The second requirement came about because it was noticed in WWI most soldiers did fire their rifles at targets over about 4-500m. The rifles used in WWI and WWII are accurate at over 1000 m.

            The important dimension is not the caliber of the round but the length of the cartridge. Assault rifle ammunition is longer than pistol but shorter than a Lee-Enfield, Mauser, Moisin-Nagant, or M1 Garand round, which are about the length and caliber. Thus the assault rifle has an effective range longer than a pistol but shorter than the other rifles.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: yet

          "are those live rounds???"

          "...seven ... six ... two ........ millimetre ........ full ... metal .... jacket ...."

      2. JustNiz

        >> The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons.

        I hope they come out with a Rover Land.

      3. Ian K
        Coat

        "Exactly. The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons."

        Dyslexia?

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I went off-roading in a friend's Series II once. Sure, I came out very bruised and had to double de-clutch, but were the modern equivalents better? If the Series 3 rescuing the Range Rover whose rear overhang had grounded it in a small ditch was anything to go by, no.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    It's a good joke, but.....

    Having actually been in the situation of being out in the arse-end of nowhere with both a Land Rover and a Toyota Land Cruiser, there was only one thing that stopped the Land Rover.

    It had to, repeatedly, to pull the sodding Toyota out of whatever it had got stuck in this time.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: It's a good joke, but.....

      Yep.

      Visited the 'Empty Quarter' of Saudi in 2002. Three vehicles. Toyota Land Cruiser with all the goodies and two ex Army Landies with winches. These were needed because while the LC was nice and cool with its A/C it kept getting bogged down in places that it shouldn't have.

      The landies with their 4WD-Low ratio gearbox came in very useful getting the Land Cruiser going again.

      Next time we went we were all in Landies.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: It's a good joke, but.....

        My mileage differs. I worked on seismic crews in Africa in the 80's, and we drove Toyota Land Cruisers (the old upright type with running boards) without problems. Then one client insisted we use Land Rovers, so they were shipped in but the corrugated desert roads shook them so much that the aluminium panels cracked and fell away. They couldn't be welded back on so they were riveted and screwed on to keep them together. Then the rainy season came and the Lucas electrics failed. Within a year they were all scrapped and we went back to our faithful (and reliable) steel-bodied Toyotas.

        On a trip to west Africa last year, I only saw two Land Rovers, and they were both ancient. All the other 4x4s were Japanese.

        1. psychonaut

          Re: It's a good joke, but.....

          "If you want to go into the outback, drive a Land Rover. If you want to come back again, drive a Toyota."

          this is partly because you can get spares easily for land cruisers, not so much for landies, as the locals told me when we were stranded in butt fuck nowhere for 6 weeks.

          and dont even think about taking a Pajero (mitsubishi shogun - was called a shogun in europe because pajero means straw sucker in spansih which is slang for cock sucker).

          we got stuck at Moreton telegraph station on the way back from successfully making it up the telegraph track to "the tip".

          stuck for 6 weeks with a warped head and after much head scratching and changing of parts, a bent cam.

          had to fly in parts (one plane a week) and fix it with super glue and chewing gum. ok, i made the last bit up but it was really really difficult, few tools, and if you didnt get the right part / enough parts you had to wait a week for the next delivery...

          the folks we went with had a cruiser. they had zero problems, they had to rescue us soooo many times.

        2. stucs201

          Re: Africa

          Different mileage again in Kenya. Lots of Japanese vehicles in Nairobi, nearly everything on the road (I think I saw one VW). However out on the reserves (Samburo and Masai Mara) almost everything was a Land Rover of some sort (each camp customised them differently). Only one camp seemed to be using Toyotas - at the very least they were outnumbered by the mini-buses of the budget safaris (which had to be careful where they went, our land rover on the other hand the guide would happily park in rivers to watch hippos).

        3. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: It's a good joke, but.....

          My mileage differs. I worked on seismic crews in Africa in the 80's, and we drove Toyota Land Cruisers (the old upright type with running boards) without problems. Then one client insisted we use Land Rovers, so they were shipped in but the corrugated desert roads shook them so much that the aluminium panels cracked and fell away.

          African countries can be divided into Landy countries and Landcruiser/Hilux countries. They have different track widths, and trying to run one in a country meant for the other is bound to cause problems.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's a good joke, but.....

            African countries can be divided into Landy countries and Landcruiser/Hilux countries. They have different track widths, and trying to run one in a country meant for the other is bound to cause problems.

            Go on then, tell us which countries are which. What Land Rover marketing materials have you been smoking?

        4. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: It's a good joke, but.....

          the Lucas electrics failed

          Not much of a surprise there, then...

  3. N2 Silver badge

    Just

    Tell the EU beauocratic seat polishers to fuck off & mind there own business, the only restrictions required is on their own emissions, preferably reduced to zero.

    Moving house from Brussels to Strabourgh every frikkin month then mankin about something good thats British? Jesus talk about pot, kettle & black.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Just

      Actually, it is not just the Eurocrats. In fact they should be second in line for the spoilsport title.

      The death knell of the Defender sounded the moment Blair and Co made into a "car" out of a commercial vehicle while keeping crew cab trucks as commercials. It has been selling less and less from that point onwards.

      The 2020 emission regs are just the final nail in the coffin. The remainder of the coffin has been put together by Brown and Osbourne for many years.

      If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset the same way you can do with an L200, Denver, Navarra, etc it would have sold enough for Tata to try to find a way around the regs. After all, everyone who is building pickups have managed to get something lined up for that date somehow.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just

      New rules around vehicles come out all the time. Emissions, safety, recyclaibility - a whole host of things.

      This vehicle is ending production because the Indian company that owns Land Rover don't want to invest any more money in updating it. I'd imagine that they're also not very keen on the amount of hand-building that goes on to make it - I doubt it's very profitable for them.

      Oh, and it's "their", not "there".

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Just

        Well, according to JLR there is a replacment under development. At this point in time, no one should criticise Tata/JLR for lack of investment. They have sunk and are continuing to sink an awful lot of money into JLR. Wasn't a new £150M investment announced only a week or so ago.

      2. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Just

        "This vehicle is ending production because the Indian company that owns Land Rover don't want to invest any more money in updating it. I'd imagine that they're also not very keen on the amount of hand-building that goes on to make it - I doubt it's very profitable for them."

        I'm actually surprised that Tata haven't thought about moving production to India.

        A lot of the problems of profitability would go away if it was built based on Indian labour rates, and the Defender brand is probably less sensitive than Range Rover to being made overseas (FFS, they make Evoques on Merseyside). They may also find that a reduced price will then improve volumes, with more sales to developing countries where the emissions regulations are less stringent.

        And if they can keep production going then they can look at other possibilities in the power-train; electric Landie anyone?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Just

          Does it go through a river deep enough to cover the bonnet?

          1. PCar
            Happy

            Re: Just

            @TRT

            "Does it go through a river deep enough to cover the bonnet?"

            The diesel version fitted with a snorkel can go through a river deep enough to cover the roof. It attaches to the air intake hole in OS front wing.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Just

              "The diesel version fitted with a snorkel can go through a river deep enough to cover the roof. It attaches to the air intake hole in OS front wing."

              I saw a Landy with a snorkel attachment parked up in Wetherby Services the other day. Despite being about 10 years old, the vehicle looked to be in highly polished perfect nick. I'm still wondering if that snorkel was just a poseur extra of if the driver genuinely expected to have a real use for it here in the UK.

              1. x 7

                Re: Just

                "parked up in Wetherby Services"

                been plenty of floods in an around Leeds over the years

          2. Andy A

            Re: Just

            If it has a snorkel fitted, then yes.

            Loads of them do. Look for a black plastic pipe up the side of the windscreen to above roof height.

            Though how the driver copes when the water is that deep beats me. Land Rover bodies are not famed for being watertight.

      3. sgp

        Re: Just

        Mercedes still invests in its equally hand-built G-wagen. The price difference between a G and a Defender gives the decision away.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Just

      All they needed to do was put a more modern, emissions compliant drive unit in the thing. There are a lot of them out there, even from their parent company.

      Whilst it is a brilliant utilitarian vehicle, it can't compete with a Range Rover or Land Cruiser on the gruelling school run, so it probably isn't worth the investment in "cleaning up its act" to sell it to those who actually could benefit from one.

      I can remember hurtling across Ashdown Forest in a V8 long bed with the windscreen clapped down.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

        It is tax deductible, just not the Station Wagon variant.

        I went through all this with my accountant when buying a 110 SW. There is a specific line in the tax rules about the SW - it meets all requirements for being a commercial vehicle except they see it as a 'lifestyle vehicle'

        To make it compliant, I'd have to remove the 3rd row seats and remove the step from the rear.

        Bizarre rules.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

          It is tax deductible

          Weird. The rules when I was buying my pickup were load based for things that are not an obvious van. Based on the explanation from Isuzu, you had to be able to carry 1 ton to be classified as a commercial. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. I still ended up paying all of it and VAT as I bought it private at the end of the day, but I did the checks.

          So by that rule most sane Defender models do not qualify: http://www.landrover.co.uk/Images/DEFENDER_tcm295-140413.pdf

          All 90-es do not qualify unless they are in an obvious "2 seats and no windows" van incarnation. The 110 station wagon does not qualify either, you need to have the "obvious" pickup version of the 110 for that or 130-es which are as rare as a white swallow. I cannot think of when I saw one recently.

          1. Vic

            Re: If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

            Based on the explanation from Isuzu, you had to be able to carry 1 ton to be classified as a commercial. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts.

            That is certainly not true across the board.

            The smaller version of my van has a 600Kg carrying capacity. That's definitely a commercial,

            Vic.

      2. Stuart 22

        Re: Just

        Bit confused here. They are stopping Defender production in 2016 because it doesn't meet 2020 emission regulations. But VW can continue production of diesel vehicles that do not meet the 2015 emission standards. Doesn't compute. Well not without a nifty bit of naughty software ...

        1. Tom 13
          Devil

          Re: Bit confused here.

          Gasoline produces CO2 which is bad for the environment but diesel doesn't. Because AlGore said so.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Just

          Bit confused here. They are stopping Defender production in 2016 because it doesn't meet 2020 emission regulations. But VW can continue production of diesel vehicles that do not meet the 2015 emission standards. Doesn't compute. Well not without a nifty bit of naughty software ...

          There you have it in a nut shell, it has nothing to do with EU emissions and everything to do with the willingness to update it with modern engines and safety standards.

          Plus the VWs can meet the regulations, but will either have less power or need more AdBlue, increasing running costs.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Just

            @PCar, I meant the electric version proposed by another commentard. I've seen the snorkel versions. They also have the high level exhaust. An all-electric drivetrain wouldn't need the intake or exhaust I guess.

      3. Steve Evans

        Re: Just

        "it can't compete with a Range Rover or Land Cruiser on the gruelling school run"

        And that in a nut-shell is the problem.

        4x4s have no place on the school run! Your little darlings will be just as safe in a "normal" car... In fact everyone else's kids would be safer if the view wasn't obscured by massively proportioned 4x4s parked up round the schools.

        The Defender was a utilitarian work horse. It's not supposed to be cruising Chelsea! I've had the pleasure of driving many Landies, and on the roads they can be cumbersome (especially with a bit of slack in the steering box!), but point them at a field, down a dirt track, through a flood and they're superb!

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Just

          4x4s have no place on the school run! Your little darlings will be just as safe in a "normal" car...

          And as safe, and much healthier, on a bicycle.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Just

          > The Defender was a utilitarian work horse. It's not supposed to be cruising Chelsea!

          Nor is it particularly nice on highways.

          One of the reasons $orkplace dumped the (series 2 actually, IIRC) for landcruisers in the early 80s was because the latter didn't handle like pregnant whales on tarmac. The other reason was that whilst landies are generally easy to repair when the motor stops, toyotas tend not to stop in the first place.

          As for getting bogged - as a kid in the 70s I saw plenty of landies being pulled out of farm tracks by landcruisers and vice-versa, although the cruisers tended to have enough power to barge through thanks to their 4 litre inline 6 (I know landcruisers came in smaller engine variants but noone with any sense bought those). If you're going to venture onto dodgy ground make sure you know WHAT kind of dodgy ground it is and make bloody sure your winch is working. A couple of land anchors don't go amiss either.

          (Then there was the dodgy electrics and the oil leaks all over the carpark - neither of which plagued the toyotas. It's no fun having to try and drive 100 miles back to base from a mountaintop with 1 headlamp out and the other flickering)

        3. JohnMurray

          Re: Just

          Respect. What you get with 2.5 tonnes around you and 1 tonne being driven by a twat coming towards you.

      4. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Just

        "All they needed to do was put a more modern, emissions compliant drive unit in the thing. There are a lot of them out there, even from their parent company."

        It's not emissions. I mean yes, they would have to eventually - but the current unit has been running a lightly modified Puma engine from the Transit. The Transit will need a new engine in 2020, as will lots of other vehicles. Emissions aren't the reason, but they're another embuggerance that has made "now" the time to do it.

        The specific reason it is going in January 2016 (and not 2020) is that as of next month new regs come in on airbags and general safety in commercial vehicles - they gave Defender a stay of execution when those regs came in for cars by reclassifying it as a commercial vehicle, but it's caught up with them.

        You can fit a Series II door into the Defender frame, which tells you as much as you need to know about how much the bodywork has been updated over the decades and how much thought went into fitting such niceties as airbags (which didn't exist back then!).

        They couldn't export to North America, and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine).

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: Just

          "... and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine)."

          Ah - so the replacement will be much cheaper then? Do you want to bet the list price difference on that?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just

          They did try once to export it to North America, with an external rollcage. However federal regulations kept moving the goalposts and they gave up in the end.

      5. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Just

        Actually I don't like the more modern EU compliant engines, too much to go wrong.

        Not against electronics as they can be reliable, but with the latest EU mode bringing in engine disabling for running out of pee, for EGR failure, various things which do not matter 1000s of miles from a dealer.

        The Defender was best pre Transit engine, when it still had one of the the two Land Rover designed engine families in it. That being either the 2.5 direct injection based on series engine (300TDi) or the 5 pot lump to replace it (TD5).

        With a Land Rover you want it to be repairable, you don't want to be stuck in Africa because the EGR failed. Even my 2003 100" estate can run fine with no EGR and only one working sensor if it had to.

        1. JohnMurray

          Re: Just

          You just have the EGR deleted from the management system.....along with the pee-gone detection

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Just

          "Not against electronics as they can be reliable, but with the latest EU mode bringing in engine disabling for running out of pee, for EGR failure, various things which do not matter 1000s of miles from a dealer."

          I have no doubt there will be remapped firmware for those situations, either officially or unofficially.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge
    Alert

    Military use.

    Another one.

    An ex-squaddie mate was in the Balkans. They learned very quickly to sleep in their Land Rovers as, if one was left unattended overnight, it would magically change into a shiny, new Humvee.

    A Land Rover would fit down all the little village roads in the Balkans, whereas a Humvee wouldn't and the American army is actually quite resourceful when it comes to securing the correct kit for the job in hand.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Military use.

      I was told that our squaddies were nicknamed 'The Borrowers' in Iraq by the Yanks, because they had a habit of liberating useful bits of kit to replace the shite our skinflint JIT production system sent them out there with.

      1. disinterested observer

        Re: Military use.

        from personal experience, both of these comments are true.

  5. Amorous Cowherder

    Some happy memories and one very sad one

    Remember going out for days with my Mum in her long wheelbased Defender, sipping flask tea while watching the drizzle run down the windows, happy times. The Land Rover had a heating system that would either freeze you or give you heat burns, perfect for a freezing cold Winter trip.

    Sadly my Mum slipped from the back of her Land Rover at the age of 63, broke her leg which caused a massive stroke when a blood clot moved from the break, took my Dad about 5 years before he could part with her old Land Rover.

  6. lansalot

    also..

    It's a Land Rover - if there isn't a pool of oil underneath it, that means there's none in it.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: also..

      The only leak I have from my Discovery is a slight power steering leak.

      Engine is oil tight

      1. Charles Manning

        Cmon... a Discovry is not a LandRover

        The last LandRover was a Series 2a... Series 3 at a stretch.

        If it has power steering it isn't a Landie

        If it has coil springs it is not a Landie

        If you can still feel your kidneys after 50 miles it yoe weren't in a Landie.

        If it holds its oil after 500 miles it isn't a Landie.

        If it has air conditioning it isn't a Landie.

        1. x 7

          Re: Cmon... a Discovry is not a LandRover

          if its crash-survivable its not a Landie

          face it

          the Landrover is an anachronistic pile of irrelevance nowadays.

          Slow, bad handling, unsafe bodywork, nil crash resistance, lethal to pedestrians, riveted/bolted construction ensures it rattles enough to self-destruct, brakes which don't, seating position which cripples anyone trying to drive it.......etc. etc. etc

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            "if its crash-survivable its not a Landie"

            The Landie will survive a crash quite nicely - in a way similar to an Israeli tank.

            Just hose it out and the next driver is good to go.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Cmon... a Discovry is not a LandRover

            Slow & Bad Handling

            Slow was sortable

            Handling depends if you still need off road ability.

            However the Discovery 2 managed it with careful use of hydraulics and electronics

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Cmon... a Discovry is not a LandRover

          Hmm

          Power steering - yes

          Air con - yes

          Coils - got them at front, air on rear

          Kidneys - Good on long trips

          Oil - fine once i replaced the front bung

          It is good off road though!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: also..

      Strange, no oil on the ground under mine yet the level is correct on the dip stick.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: also..

      Until recently my brother's 110 required one litre of transmission fluid per 100 miles.

      The volume of magic smoke required to refill the Lucas electrics however is literally incalculable (the interior lights flash when he indicates left).

    4. Spacedman

      Re: also..

      They're not leaking, they're just marking their territory.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Would love a Defender

    But, having sat in one that a friend of mine owns, I can't drive it. I'm too tall, too broad in the shoulders. The only other car I've had this issue with is a Toyota Yaris.

    However, I think you'll find that sooner or later the Defender will be built again - in India - thanks to TATA. Someone fairly high up at Land Rover when I went with a school trip told me that they'll start building there once they stop building them in Solihull.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Would love a Defender

      You're just not resourceful enough to drive a Defender - there's a bit of Darwinian selection going on.

      I'm 6'2" and 95kg. Easy - just use seat extenders to move the seat back 3 inches.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        @AMBxx

        If you put the seat back 3", can you still put it in to first gear without help from a passenger?

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: @AMBxx

          Of course - I have long arms too!

          Just have to feel sorry for anyone sitting behind me.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Would love a Defender

      > I think you'll find that sooner or later the Defender will be built again

      I doubt TATA will find sufficient buyers. Airbag and emissions rules are worldwide, not just USA/EU and the Defender can't pass crashtesting rules anyway (it's been grandfathered up to now, but rebasing the production would negate that)

  8. Tim Jenkins

    Many happy hours on long journeys

    spent poking things through the vent flaps and machinegunning oncoming cars.

    These days there's probably an app for that.

    1. Steve Evans
      FAIL

      Re: Many happy hours on long journeys

      I still remember the day my brother forgot to shut those as he ploughed into a river...

      To say I laughed my head off would be an understatement, I was on the safari roof at the time and perfectly dry - unlike the occupants in the cab!

  9. John Robson Silver badge

    Ironic

    Given that the thing is easily repairable, generally with a hammer and some string, I'd be surprised if it wasn't actually rather more ecologically sound than some of the "ship everything around the world forty times, then throw it out when a bulb fails" models on the market...

    Ah, but they emit less/mile - yes, but they'll only do 20k in their lifetime....

  10. Franco Silver badge

    It's hard not to love Land Rovers. Quintessentially British, and like Meccano for grown ups.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Interestingly, I've seen Meccano used to fix a corrosion problem on the doors...

    2. JaitcH
      Happy

      Landrovers, Meccano and Mini Moke

      All three are British mechanical icons.

      There are several knock-offs of Meccano both in metal and plastic, quite confusing. My parents bought my last Meccano set - a No. 10 - and it saw me through my teen years.

      Now they are punched out in China for Western companies and they are available, unfinished, in bulk lots, for fractions of the prices they charge at retail - painted. My employers military section use them for prototyping - and as owners of laser and water/diamond cutters we can bang off custom and large dimension base plates.

      The Mini-Moke is frequently found in warmer countries - there are at least 17 genuine Mini-Mokes in Ho Chi Minh City/SaiGon where the choice de jour is the Toyota Landcruiser at USD$100,000 at the showroom door.

      1. x 7

        Re: Landrovers, Meccano and Mini Moke

        "The Mini-Moke is frequently found in warmer countries - there are at least 17 genuine Mini-Mokes in Ho Chi Minh City/SaiGon"

        An updated version of the Moke is still being made in China

        http://mokeinternational.com/

        1. TWB

          Re: Mini Moke link

          Thanks for that - our family had an Australian Moke for years - it became my first car and I used it for years. It was the most fun car to drive and even though not that fast, it felt fast as it was close to the road and open and you could see each corner and squeeze through small gaps. It was my only car for many years.

          I sold it eventually as I now like sedate comfortable travel (got married!)

          Anyway - back to the Land Rover.....

          1. x 7

            Re: Mini Moke link

            just a shame that the new Mokes don't meet USA or European safety laws

            No room for the airbags

            No ABS

            I'm guessing the crash resistance tests were probably poor as well........

            really a vehicle like that should be given approval checks more like those of a motorbike, not a full sized car

  11. andykb3

    Why are they ending it now?

    The emissions laws don't come into force until 2020, and the replacement car is due out in 2018 - so why are they ending production now at the start of 2016?

    Do they have acres of car parks full of excess stock? Or in reality is it not selling any more due to better competition, but the emissions rules that will apply in 4 years time are a convenient excuse.

    I'll be a little sad to see it go - it was and is an icon. However by today's standards it is also monumentally uncomfortable, slow and unwieldy. It's out-of-date, basically.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      The emissions laws don't come into force until 2020, and the replacement car is due out in 2018 - so why are they ending production now at the start of 2016?

      Here's a clue:

      ... by today's standards it is also monumentally uncomfortable, slow and unwieldy. It's out-of-date, basically.

      1. Vinyl-Junkie

        Re: Why are they ending it now?

        "... by today's standards it is also monumentally uncomfortable, slow and unwieldy. It's out-of-date, basically."

        All untrue.

        Uncomfortable?

        I have a 1990 Defender 110CSW; every summer for the last few years I have driven it to France on our family holiday. This is normally a 600 mile trip, give or take. I normally have to make one fuel stop, and this is our only stop (other than the Chunnel); at the end of the drive I get out as comfortable as I got into it, and I'm in my mid-50s, so uncomfortable it isn't.

        Slow?

        Mine will do 70 comfortably, although to avoid using large amounts of diesel I tend to cruise at 60. Still not the slowest car on the road by a long chalk.

        Unwieldy?

        Even my 110 will comfortably turn in three points on a normal width street without mounting the kerb, a 90 will do so with ease.

        So I'm guessing you've never actually owned or driven one.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Why are they ending it now?

          I have to admit, the question crossed my mind, why ditch this and keep the Evoque?

          1. IHateWearingATie

            Re: Why are they ending it now?

            "I have to admit, the question crossed my mind, why ditch this and keep the Evoque?"

            1. Profit

            2. See above

            1. david bates

              Re: Why are they ending it now?

              IIRC Evoque is the best selling vehicle they have...

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: The Evoque

                My brother, a REME engineer who was one of the casualties of "death by a thousand cutbacks", got a short-term placement on the Evoque line, mainly on the strength of his 10 years tinkering with Landies in whatever theatre the Army had deployed them to. He said, on coming home after his first day on the job, and I quote as close as I can recall, "What a piece of shit. Never, ever, ever get an Evoque. If you hear of anyone thinking about buying one, tell them not to. If you ever see anyone about to sign on the dotted line in a dealership, you have my permission to shoot them through the wrists."

                1. Dr_N Silver badge

                  Re: The Evoque

                  What rot. It's not a frikkin' military spec expedition vehicle is it?!

                  The Evoque does what it says on the tin.

                  I've run one for 2 years and it hasn't missed a beat.

                  1. Dave 15

                    Re: The Evoque

                    Indeed

                    The other big, actually huge issue, it is only the real Landy that has a chassis, so only the real Landy that can be used for custom vehicles - fire engines, ambulances, tow trucks (I have even seen them doubling as steam engines on tourist street trains)...

                    The army need them, the public want them, the others should go and find something else to do.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: The Evoque

                      "The other big, actually huge issue, it is only the real Landy that has a chassis"

                      Both the Discovery & Range Rover do have a separate chassis - the main problem AFAIK is that the body shell is monocoque so more difficult to modify.

                      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
                        Pint

                        Re: The Evoque

                        Top Gear (Clarkson) said that the Range Rover Sport (original) had TWO chassis. I think he meant that it had a complete monocoque and an extra chassis.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The Evoque

                    You mean it evoques ?

                    Seriously, given the conditions in which most of them are driven, i.e. nearest to off road is the prep school drive, even a Lada should be reliable for two years.

                    1. SteveastroUk

                      Re: The Evoque

                      I thought Evoques were those little hairy bastards in Return of the Jedi.

    2. Lysenko

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      Not to mention that by 2020 EU rules may not matter if "Call me Dave"'s referendum goes the wrong way.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Why are they ending it now?

        It won't matter whether the UK is in or out of the EU, the EU's rules (along with US rules) will still apply if we want to sell there.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: It won't matter whether the UK

          So sad yet so true. Except here in the US, we lament the fact that we're all stuck following California's rules. So this is actually a case of California dictating what the UK can build. Which just makes it that much sadder.

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: Why are they ending it now?

        The EU is largely irrelevant as far as vehicle regulations go. The EU directives are handed-down to us, as they are handed-down to the EU, from UNECE:

        http://www.unece.org/trans/main/welcwp29.html

    3. david bates

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      Probably becuse the space taken up by the line is needed for something else.

      Bear in mind the Defender is basically hand made and so costs a fortune. I've been round the factory. The Range Rover is built by robots that glue and rivet the whole shell together and then some fiddly bits are added manually.

      The Defender still has to have the alignment done on its headlamps.

      The two lines are chalk and cheese. And yes, I fully expect production to restart somewhere cheaper.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Why are they ending it now?

        "Bear in mind the Defender is basically hand made and so costs a fortune. I've been round the factory. The Range Rover is built by robots that glue and rivet the whole shell together and then some fiddly bits are added manually."

        The numbers are staggering.

        The Range Rover line produces 320 cars per shift, and their order book is thick enough to run 3 shifts a day.

        For the past 12 months the Defender line has been running one shift a day making ~115 units.

        So JLR were selling ~8-9 full fat £100k Range Rovers for every Defender, and on a huge margin. Defender is profitable, but not by very much.

    4. stucs201

      Re: uncomfortable, slow

      Neither of these things matter if it's being driven where it's supposed to be driven. Places where any vehicle is going to have a degree of discomfort, particularly if you try and do anything as daft as go fast.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      Basically, because the last 30 years, no real money was invested in it. Yes, we had the TD5 engine when it was BMW, and Ford put a Transit engine and gearbox in it as well as a new dash when they aquired it.

      The whole drive system is basically a throwback from the 60's. You can't even fit a more modern pokey engine in it or it will rip out the drive line.

      I owned one for 8 years and loved it. But without serious mods to the engine it was slow, noisy, sprung like a brick, there was an inch of water in it when you passed a lorry on the motorway in the rain, the heating was anemic, when you got the aircon the co-driver needed his/her feet amputated an so on and so forth.

      Simply put, in our modern, comfortable society, the circumstances which required the existance of the Defender and its ilk have gone.

      And what's left of the worldwide market is owned by the 70 series Land Cruiser, still produced by Toyota in compliance with Euro-Nowt emission standards, with a near indestructable 4.2 diesel sixpot and driveline.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Why are they ending it now?

        That Ford engine is horrible, much prefer the LR designed TD5

    6. ckm5

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      Airbag rules coming into force shortly - see upthread.

    7. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Why are they ending it now?

      There's another reason, something like 60% of all Defenders sold are still going. It's a bit difficult to sell a new one when the old one works just fine*.

      * and by fine I mean there will always be something broken on it, but you could still drive it to the top of Snowden and back

  12. Anonymous Coward/2.0
    Flame

    no great loss

    Sorry but I won't be grieving over the damn things. Uncomfortable, slow and noisy with the turning circle of a small country. Prone to water leaking in to the cabin even on brand new ones. If you have all the bells and whistles they break. If you don't then you either freeze, boil or can't see out of the windows for condensation depending on the season. Iconic but awful.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: no great loss

      Landies - you either get them or you don't.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Get em dirty

    Hose em out

  14. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    Here's a bright idea.

    Why don't they give (or sell) the manufacturing rights to the Morgan Motor company?

    Retro FWD with modern mechanicals. I reckon it would sell.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Here's a bright idea.

      So long as your F stands for four, not front!

      I thought it would be good to just do an automotive equivalent of open source. Plenty of enthusiasts out there with the skill & time. Parts are readily available.

      They'd probably all end up making Series III though.

  15. Alister Silver badge

    I sort of understand the reasons for stopping production, although I do feel the vehicle has been let down by lack of investment, and particularly lack of any sales tactics at all.

    What I don't understand is Tata/JLR's stated intent to produce a "New" Defender which is not going to be aimed at the commercial vehicle market, but rather will be yet another SUV.

    Tata/JLR already produce 6 different models of SUV:

    Evoque

    Freelander

    Discovery Sport

    Discovery

    Range Rover Sport

    Range Rover

    Why on earth do they think that the market will sustain another one?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      The Freelander is now called Discovery Sport

      Stupid isn't it.

      I passed one on the M42, thought that was NOT a Discovery, now what I was in was definately.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      "Why on earth do they think that the market will sustain another one?"

      Because they are making money hand-over-fist with them?

      You forgot the new Jag F-Pace too.

  16. Salts

    Landrover Defender...

    Because you need ear defenders to drive them, difference between a 90 & 110 = 20dB, still you have to love them, they are just so British!

  17. James O'Shea

    No land rover comments section should be without

    the tree climbing scene from 'The Gods Must Be Crazy' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RXV-p_Ec6Q

    and the no brakes scene, also from 'The Gods Must Be Crazy' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIBldJ9YmmM

    I suspect that tis not the gods who are crazy...

  18. Wolfclaw

    More EU meddling, someone should take the aforementioned AK47 and stand at the EU pay trough and euphanise the whole lot !

  19. Rick Brasche

    "ironically"..

    those who created and pushed for those regulations that eliminated future Defenders, are the ones that will be doing their damndest to buy them up for themselves, and be able to afford them even as prices skyrocket. because they "deserve" better than the rest of us.

  20. My-Handle

    Ceasing to be built, yes. Gone, hell no.

    I was reading an article on the BBC earlier in the week that happened to remark that about two thirds of all Defenders made are still on the roads.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35436741

    Not sure if the exact figure is true, but my mum and dad owned a small handful over the course of my childhood years in Norfolk. During my time in university, nearly 20 years later, I found one of them in the autotrader (a large green Series II. Fondly nicknamed Ermentrude, after the ease it took to drive). I can well believe that a large fraction of these things will be around for many years to come.

  21. DasWezel

    Safety?

    Anyone who bought a Defender for school-run safety reasons is a bit of a fool. It was never designed to absorb impacts - the crumple zone is your face. It was designed in a time where "occupant protection" meant "not driving it like a spoon", and if you ask it to keep you comfy in a crash, it'll respond by doing it's very best to kill you. It doesn't ask that you respect the fact you're driving 2T of metal - it demands it.

    And I think for those who own them for the adventure of it, that's part of the appeal. It's back-to-basics motoring where you're so much more involved with what's going on. Nothing is really hidden from you behind a wall of plastic and "sight-of-tools-will-void-warranty" stickers.

    Disclaimer: My daily-driver is a 1972 leaf-sprung Series III with a diseasil engine transplant from a 1994 Discovery. I'm warm, dry, surprisingly comfortable and can hold a conversation at 70MPH. (And I do about 15k a year in her!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Safety?

      "the crumple zone is your face"

      No, the crumple zone is other people's cars....

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Safety?

        AC "No, the crumple zone is other people's cars...."

        Go find the 'Fifth Gear' crash test between a minivan and your Land Rover.

        Watch and learn.

        Edit, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad8dHYAIhZ4

        1. stucs201

          Re: Safety?

          That's a Disco in that crash test. We're discussing the Defender and it's predecessors here.

          1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Safety?

            @stucs201 "...the Defender and it's predecessors..."

            It's "its", not "...and it is predecessors..."

            The Defender could only be (much) worse. So the point revealed in the video remains valid.

            FACT: Big dumb SUVs generally have very poor crash safety. Too many people have wrong ideas on this point, which is exactly why Fifth Gear had to make the video. In the USA, they did a similar test of old and new Chevy, with the surprising to some result.

            Anyone that assumes that 'big dumb heavy' = 'crash safety' is just hopelessly ill-informed.

            Their confidence in their daft misbelief is just aggravating.

            Ignorant fools in heavy vehicles. Not good. Too common.

        2. <shakes head>

          Re: Safety?

          that was a discovery, on a defender the MPV driver would have been decapitated after submarining under the defender and the winch bumper.

        3. Vinyl-Junkie

          Re: Safety?

          Learn to tell the difference between a Discovery and a Defender. The vehicle in that video is a Discovery, which is a big car. A Defender is a small chassis-based truck, and the outcome is entirely different I can assure you!

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Safety?

            Depends on the Discovery, the D1 is very similar to the original Range Rover and the 90/110, the D2 was the last new live axled design and I was surprised the axles did not end up on Defenders. (But the engine & manual gerabox did).

            D2, D3 are very different, independant suspension, and a transmission unrelated to anything before.

            The D1 and D2 are both about 100" WB so are between the 90 and 110 in size.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Safety?

        While stationary at traffic lights in Taunton I had a taxi drive into me, then depart rapidly before I got the number. It took me nearly half an hour with Nitromors to get all the paint off the otherwise undamaged galvanised bumper.

        But yes, interior safety in a crash nonexistent.

  22. caffeine addict Silver badge

    I'll miss them. At nine years old I learnt to drive in an ex-Army IIa with doubled back springs so it could lug a welding rig around. ( No idea what they were welding to need that. )

    It was a fantastic thing to learn in, and a great age to do so. That was 30 years ago, and I want it back. 90" (or 88, or whatever they were back then) in pale blue with a white roof and a highly perished offroad tyre filling half the front window...

  23. Dr_N Silver badge

    Rose Glasses

    There's some right ol' bollocks posted about Land Rovers recently.

    Mostly by people who've never driven one further than the end of the road and have no real intention of ever buying one. Hence the need for JLR to find something else to build/sell.

    If people really need one there's plenty of really good (and even classic) 2nd hand ones out there ready to rock-n-roll.

    "One Life. Live It." Or whatever Camel Trophy fantasy you'd like to stick on the bodywork

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: Rose Glasses

      "If people really need one there's plenty of really good (and even classic) 2nd hand ones out there ready to rock-n-roll."

      That's part of the problem. The longevity of the beast depletes the replacement market making the niche unprofitable for manufacturers. So its being dumped for not being green to make way for an extra production line of landfill motors.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Rose Glasses

        In Europe JLR shifted 1237 Defenders last year compared to 51626 Evoques.

        Even if all the people carping on about its retirement today were to go out and buy one they wouldn't even double the sales.

        JLR is there to make and sell products, not to sit back on its successes of yesteryear and get ground into the dust by the competition.

    2. MrT

      "One Life. Live It."

      I preferred "You drive fast, I'll drive anywhere".

      I tried searching for revolver linkages for a Series II at work once - the filters were not that clever back then and it was blocked as 'firearms'. Still, the same setup blocked the HMRC website as 'offensive', so it wasn't always wrong...

  24. nsld

    Shame

    The handbuilt nature of the Defender meant you could fix it easily as everything was bolt on, probably why so many are still on the road and as a workhorse they do the job well even though they are basic/agricultural.

    Modern Land Rovers are shit, have a series 1 Freelander which between the window regulators, central locking and the leaks just about keeps going. About the only bit that works is the engine, and even that has an interesting issue as the main hose from the air filter collapses under load at 3000RPM thanks to the poor design.

    Then SWMBO bought a Range Rover diseasel as well. Rear wash wipe has this stupid feed through the axle design which leaks, the high pressure diesel pump leaks, the rear boot seal leaks. Interestingly as its the 3.0 diseasel the emissions are almost fresh air and the tax is less than £300 and it is like driving a large leather sofa but from a manufacturing and quality perspective its horrid.

    Neither is a patch on any of the Subaru turbo wagons I have owned when it comes to driving or reliability, all of which went to the moon and back at high speed and heavy load with almost no problems in all sorts of poor terrain and conditions.

  25. Dave 15

    another reason

    Another reason to say good bye to the europeans. They hate us, perhaps not as much as the Americans do but they do hate us. Best get out of it and reinstate the Landy as a one very very solid benefit of getting out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: another reason

      If we leave you'll just find something else to moan about. Bet you drive an Audi too.

  26. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Truncated history

    "...the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles."

    Did we forget to mention the inspirational role played by the WWII Willys Jeep? Nearly every other history of Land Rover mentions that little factoid at the beginning.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Truncated history

      Absolutely true, they were inspired by the American jeeps and they were also inspired to change a few things. A better, lighter body that was modular and easy to adapt to different uses, more economical ( even then) and greater clearance underneath the improve off roading on rougher terrain.

      I had a 1963 IIa petrol for about 8 years, I used it for work as a mechanic, towing a 2 horse box London to Wales on a number of occasions and after the October storm in '87 I used it to pull downed trees out of the road, some of which were a good three feet in diameter. 4 wheel low is awesome even in an old 54BHP IIa.

      Currently I am driving a '92 Disco 1 310.000 Km on the clock, I have just changed the steering box, steering damper and rebuilt the front swivels The engine doesn't burn oil and the only leak is the rocker box cover, sooner or later they always need changing on any old car.

      Slow down to about 4KPH and the box snicks freely into 4 wheel low diff lock, that will get me out of anything particularly as my tyres are Cooper Discoverys and not school run shopping trolley tyres.

      Outrageously leaky Landys are usually owned by people who are too lazy to do, or have done basic maintenance.

      I bought my Disco 6 years ago from a Spanish lad who was given it by his Dad who had bought a new one, neither of them had done more than put diesel in the tank , check the oil occasionally and pump the tyres up a bit, because that was all it ever needed.

      Who needs a new one? Not me!

  27. MrT

    At least...

    ...they had the good taste to make the last example one of the Heritage models, rather than the £60-odd-k Chelsea'd up version.

    Do they have the oldest (development chassis #2, IIRC) in their museum? Or at least HUE 166. This'll look nice parked next to it.

  28. Sebring
    Facepalm

    Typical Register pseudo-Libertarian right-wing claptrap blaming the EU for the Defender's demise. The writing was on the wall when the US banned its sale in their territory back in the 1990s.

    I love Land Rovers to bits, with some of my happiest memories tooling round Southern Iraq in a Wolf variant - but I'm not blind to their failings. These days, most people drive the vehicle in the First World and that requires protection for the occupants, which the Land Rover doesn't really provide because it is built to provide survivability for the vehicle itself (even if it needs a bit of help with a hammer).

    To have a modern equivalent of the Land Rover that is safe for its inhabitants as well as being easily repairable requires clever and considered design - and a lot of investment. Here's hoping JLR get it right when the Land Rover's replacement hits the dirt.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      pseudo-Libertarian right-wing

      Hmmm ....communistic fascists, then?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Reminds me of KITT and KARR... the Data & Lor of the 80s.KARR was programmed for its own survival, thus protecting the driver.

  29. MartinC

    I thought the reason they were stopping production was that it could not be made to meet euro ncap safety ratings, for both occupant and pedestrian impacts. Jlr have plenty of engines to choose from, that have the right sort of power output and emissions.

  30. x 7

    If you really want a Landy, they are still being built in Turkey and Iran, though with a lot of local content. The Turkish ones started off as licenced production for their Army but seem to have broken the contract, while the Iranians have what was the Spanish Santana production line - which declared UDI from LandRover many years ago and started using foreign (Hyandai??) engines and transmissions.

    The Santanas had a reputation for being more reliable than "real" Landies

    I wonder how easy it would be to bring one in as a personal import? With the new "Iran is nice" feeling in Government it might just get easier

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They were also briefly sold as an Iveco in Italy

  31. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Pint

    Civilization

    Sometimes 'civilization' leaves much to be desired and the requirements of an inflexible bureaucracy blinds them to all those emotional factors that makes living a little dangerously such a delicious relish.

  32. Christian Berger Silver badge

    This also applies to that car from the sci-fi series where they travel back in time...

    ...you know, the Lada Niva from Návštěvníci.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rm4ciogF3s

    I guess the reason is that, as mentioned in the series, it still runs on petrol.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With two fingers up to the Eurocrats, I bought a V8

    I recently bought an old Series III 109 V8. I love the simplicity, the ability to repair it anywhere, the knowledge that I can go pretty much anywhere without having to worry about scratching it, or paying £1000 for a new wing, or being categorised according to what I drive.

    Yes its slow, ponderous and you need to DRIVE it, not pretend to while your texting your Mum or catching up on facebook. Why the f**k do cars need to have voice free phones and texting built in? And if you can't park then you shouldn't be driving. I'm with Clarkson - the steering wheel should have a big spike in it, not an airbag, perhaps people would take driving seriously then...

    This old beast is greener than any new car too - its carbon footprint has long since been covered simply by not requiring further precious resources, and certainly no toxic heavy metals as needed by the new electric/hybrid vehicles. 'What about the emissions from the V8 engine?' I hear you cry. It runs on LPG which is cleaner than any petrol fuelled engine and has less carcinogens in its exhaust than diesel emissions.

    The classic Landrover is dead. Long live the Landrover.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: With two fingers up to the Eurocrats, I bought a V8

      Slow - take the big lumps of metal out of the inlet maniold, instant power upgrade.

  34. MoabMan

    Sad to see another solid axle off roader cease production. No doubt a pretty IFS or IFS&IRS replacement is on its way. It will have marvellous ride characteristics on tarmac and be as useful as their other modern LR models off road.

    JLR should be inspired by Land Rover's genesis to design a replacement that makes economic and practical sense for manufacturer and purchaser.

    JLR should buy assembled Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU chassis/engine platforms from Chrysler and put a new design defender aluminium body on them. Plants could be setup in USA and Egypt (contracted out) and UK.

    The Wrangler platform is already in EU type approved vehicles. It is also used in soft skin military vehicles. Made in more than one modern factory around the world.

    Increased volume sales of JK ladder chassis platforms would benefit both Jeep/Chrysler/Fiat and JLR. I doubt that JLR would double Chrysler's platform production, but the volume sales would allow both REAL 4x4 models to remain commercially viable.

    The JK Wrangler probably has the best after market for off road performance parts worldwide. Being able to bolt-on all the JK off-road and performance goodies on a new Defender would be a huge advantage for LR customers and specialist vehicle manufacturers.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Go wash your mouth with soap

      The wrangler in its default config is about as useful off-road as a 4x4 fiat panda. It'll tackle quite a lot, but it requires speed, being rough on the car and driving it like an american. It's too light to get decent traction in a lot of situations. (Almost any Wrangler you see off-roading has been modified to the point it's barely the same car anymore). Any replacement model for the defender needs to be able to handle off-roading out of the box. Not through aftermarket parts that all together cost as much as the car did to begin with.

  35. Martin Torzewski

    Unstoppable

    Many decades ago, I had to drive a Series I while working on a road construction project

    It had a cracked engine block, so before taking it out, you had to check the dipstick for the oil level. If it was low, you topped up the radiator before setting off.

    Didn't know how to double declutch before stepping into it the first time; did by the time I stepped out.

    1. x 7

      Re: Unstoppable

      " had to check the dipstick for the oil level. If it was low, you topped up the radiator "

      oil in the radiator?

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Unstoppable

        "oil in the radiator?"

        No. no oil in the engine. Engine runs hot. Top up radiator so that engine doesn't run too hot and die.

        Would have been better to fix crack in engine or to just replace engine.

        1. Martin Torzewski

          Re: Unstoppable

          a) There was no longer much of a distinction between the oil in the sump and the water in the coolant circuit (a la Third Policeman) - and the engine didn't much care.

          b) Cobbler's children: the vehicle was assigned to the mechanic in charge of the workshop which kept all the site's vehicles & plant functioning, and thus was the worst maintained item on the site. And I wasn't sufficiently senior to authorise replacing it . . .

  36. Breen Whitman

    Speaking of Aussie sayings, a dittiy amongst backpacker murderers goes: 1 mile in, bury em deep, else bring the Landy 5 mile in, and leave em in a heap.

  37. alpine

    India

    Probably shortly JLR's parent company will open a new plant to build them in their home country, free of EU interference.

  38. mikecoppicegreen

    60 % of land rovers are still on the road

    the other 40% made it home :)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone that has owned a defender and actually used it off road...

    ...has probably got rid of it by now and got something Japanese instead.

    My factory hilux surf required nothing much more than a roll of gaffer tape, some heavy to beat on it form time to time, oil and fuel to keep it running and it consistently out performed defenders and disco's on and off road, modified and unmodified in the sort of classic terrain of north wales.

    The only thing that defenders are good for these days is something to fiddle with on a sunday afternoon.

    Also, as noted previously, an AKM is nothing like a Landrover in that they are simple and reliable, always performing when needed and keep on working with no maintenance forever.

    The AK74 is simply an AKM made to shoot the smaller 5.45mm round and offers virtually no other improvements on an already excellent design.

    The defender had a good run but it's time now to let it go.

  40. Louis Schreurs BEng

    "If you want to go into the outback........ again, drive a Toyota."

    Same in Tanzania

  41. Madge

    Grrrr

    Another reason to leave the EU

  42. James O'Shea

    Roll me over

    #1 prob with 4x4 vehicles: high CoG, so they roll easily. Land Rovers roll more easily than others, except Jeeps. When Jeeps (and a lot of other 4x4s) roll, they tend to do naughty things to those inside. Back when I was in the Caribbean, a certain Japanese 4x4 (not a Toyota) was known as the Kamikaze, 'cause if you rolled in it you were going to die. Meanwhile, in Land Rover land, what happens when you roll? You get out, roll it back on its wheels, put whatever spilled out of the back back in, and drive away, that's what. Captain Scarlet is what Land Rovers were. Indestructible.

    i can't find it just now, but somewhere out on the Internet is video of the '60 Minutes' interview that Mike (the Hammer of God) Wallace had with the then VP in charge of Jeep for American Motors (yes, it was that long ago) wherein said VP explained that the powers at be at AMC knew damn well that Jeeps rolled a lot, that was why they put roll bars in them, and that there would never be a roll-over fatality in a Jeep if the owners of the vehicles didn't insist on removing the roll bars. Land Rovers simply didn't have that problem.

    1. x 7

      Re: Roll me over

      a few months back in another thread there was a very passionate description of a Land Rover roll over accident in which a chap watched his whole family die. When a land rover rolls with any kind of energy the whole body comes apart like a wet cardboard box. They're not safe. Never were, never can be.

      1. stucs201

        Re: Roll me over

        If you're taking it where rolling is likely then you fit a roll cage. Problem solved. Bolting on extras is something Land Rovers are very good for.

      2. Vinyl-Junkie

        Re: Roll me over

        That "passionate description" has been copied and pasted to multiple Landy forums over the years. As far as anyone has been able to discover, including the very active South African Landy contingent, it never happened. The poster comes on, posts that story, and is never heard from again.

        The lowlives who stole my previous Defender, a 1988 model, rolled it at over 50MPH and were all able to run from the scene (even the one who'd been hit by the trolley jack I kept in the back, although I suspect he was running slower, as he was the one they caught). This was after they'd collided with a Transit at a similar speed, knocking it on its side (Landy offside front bumper to Transit nearside front wing). Either of those incidents would have stopped a normal car in its tracks, but the Defender was still driveable afterwards, although it was an insurance write-off. When I went to collect my belongings from it at the pound it had already attracted a potential buyer who was going to re-body it.

  43. Potemkine Silver badge

    Goodness Gracious Me

    Another legendary indian iconic car is disappearing

  44. Drefsab_UK

    hmm

    but what if we arent part of europe by then surely the issue then goes away?

  45. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

    So what exactly killed it?

    This is a technical publication, we can handle the hard stuff. So what EU rules killed it and why is the Defender in particular victim of them?

    In my opinion it was just JLR wanted to kill it but wanted to shift the blame to the evil EU. If it was an engine problem just fit a different engine.

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