The bulk of the current Land Rover Defender range is likely to continue in production until 2017 or later — and that will be at least two years after the launch of the all-new Defender replacement in 2015.
The long-wheelbase 110 and commercial 130 versions of the Land Rover Defender are likely to be beneficiaries, staying in production well after the arrival of the new short-wheelbase Defender, previewed at the Frankfurt show as the DC100 concept.
“There are a number of changes to the legislation that mean we can keep the current Defender in production longer than we thought,” said a Land Rover source.
The first is the ability of the new 2.2-litre diesel engine to meet EU6 standards — the tough next step in emissions regulations that will align diesel engine pollutants with those of petrols in 2015/16.
There is also a suggestion that the Defender might not have to comply with EU6 until a later date. A few years ago the Defender was reclassified as a commercial vehicle, which might help.
Pedestrian impact laws were due to pull down the shutters on the Defender in 2015, but Land Rover now understands that a ‘derogation’ — exemption from the law — might apply until 2020.