The Land Rover Defender , one of the most coveted off-road vehicles ever built, will get the axe in 2015, 22 years after its introduction and 66 years after its ancestor, the Land Rover Series, was launched. An icon will cease to exist, although the Brits are working on a successor that will arrive sometime in 2017. While the disappearing of the original Defender is sad news for all off-road enthusiasts, Land Rover is bidding fairwell to its potent SUV by releasing several special-edition models. The most recent to come out of the company’s Solihull plant is the Africa Edition, of which only 50 units will be built.
As the name suggests, this extremely limited SUV pays tribute to the vehicle’s go-anywhere capabilities and its countless encounters with the African continent, and its harsh climate and landscape. Be it military , humanitarian aid missions or rally raids, the Defender remains one of the few vehicles to conquer Africa on land, and the Africa edition emphasizes on these achievements once more. Sure, we don’t need a special-edition SUV to remember the greatness of the Defender, but every iteration is welcome as the iconic vehicle is preparing its exit from the market.
Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Defender Africa Edition
Land Rover Defender Africa Edition In Detail
Although its body panels remained unchanged, the Defender Africa, only available in a short-wheelbase configuration, is recognizable by its Santorini Black paint and red roof. The vehicle’s dark exterior theme continues down below with a set of alloy wheels also finished in black. The rollers come in a "saw tooth" design that highlights the SUV’s limited-edition status. Rounding off the exterior is a grey "Defender Africa" decal on each of the rear fenders.
The exterior can be further customized using the company’s existing options for the Defender. Customers can add a snorkel, a roof rack, a rear step, bumper caps and a front protection bar. I don’t mean to pry, but it would’ve been nice to see some these features offered as standard. A snorkel would, of course, be useless around town, but the vehicle’s rugged theme leaves no room for compromise.
The interior remains unchanged with the exception of black set covers with red piping and Bluetooth connectivity. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we’ll back with more details as soon as we have them.
Launched in 1983 as a successor to the original Land Rover Series, the Land Rover Defender remained largely unaltered throughout its life. Important updates were introduced in 1990, 2007 and 2012, but revisions revolved around the vehicle’s classic, no-nonsense recipe. The Defender was available in many body styles globally, including three- and five-door SUVs and two-door, single-cab and four-door, double-cab pickups. The engine lineup was diverse as well and consisted of inline-six and V-8 gasoline mills, and a bevy of inline-four diesel offerings.
The Defender was introduced in the United States in 1993. The vehicles were extensively modified to meet U.S. safety regulations and customer requirements and sold through the 1997 model year. Production was halted in 1998 when regulations changed to require the fitting of airbags for both front seat passengers in all vehicles. The British considered such modifications were not economically viable and axed the U.S.-spec Defender.
Gallery Land Rover Defender
With only 50 vehicles available in the world, the Special Edition Defender’s red roof draws its inspiration from Africa, and marks a celebration of over 67 years of boldly going where no other vehicle has gone before. It’s complemented by a Santorini black finish, black seat covers with red piping, black saw tooth alloy wheels, and Bluetooth telephone connection to add a touch of technology to the rugged legend.
- Santorini black finish with red roof
- Black seat covers with red piping
- Black saw tooth alloy wheels
- Defender Africa decal
- Optional accessories include: Snorkel, roof rack, rear step, bumper caps, front protection bar