Land Rover Defender: target 70 years?

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Land Rover launched its first model in 1948. This will make it 70 years old in 2018. What are the chances of it still being in production then?

Currently, the Defender is safe until 2017: means of making the 2.2-litre diesel engine Euro 6 compliant have been found.

Julian Rendell revealed in Autocar ages ago that the Defender may also receive a derogation from meeting tough new pedestrian protection rules until 2020: the fact it’s now classified as a CV, rather than a car, may help here.

Certainly, it looks likely the old Defender will live on even after its DC100-inspired replacement arrives, some time in 2015.

Which has me thinking… how nice it would be for a company as proud of its heritage as Land Rover to achieve such an impressive landmark? It would make it one of the world’s oldest cars and would certainly be a rare instance of a firm’s first car surviving into its 70th year.

People like numerical symmetry. We like major birthdays such as a nice round 70: one of the growing number of gripes with the original Mini was that it lived on for 41 years, not 40 or 45. MG Rover missed another trick there.

How about it, then – the Defender 90 70 Edition? If there’s a way, here’s hoping it can be done. It would be neat, it would be marketing gold – and the production engineering case studies on the implications and technicalities of building a 1948-spec model in 2018 would be absolutely fascinating…

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