Land Rover has overhauled almost its entire line with the 2010 updates to the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and LR4 (Discovery), but the one vehicle that hardly gets touched is the one that started it all. The car now know as the Defender may be set to get its largest makeover in its over sixty-year history.

Land Rover is set to reveal a new Defender for 2013. This can be extremely tricky because the reason Britain’s Jeep remained largely untouched since its birth is because of its loyal following. Customers like its basic utilitarian structure, which has made it a European workhorse. What will not help the new Defender’s acceptance with the loyalists is that it will likely be based on the Discovery in order to reduce costs. This will include trading in the coil spring suspension for an independent setup that may include air bags for adjusting ride height.

Land Rover currently sells about 25,000 Defenders per year. It’s now hoping that the updated and modernized vehicle will push sales to 40,000. No word yet on if this means a return of the Defender to the U.S. Land Rover had to stop selling the Discovery here in 1997 because of safety regulations, but a modern car may finally account for current rules.



What do you think?
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  (1) posted on 08.6.2010

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  (808) posted on 02.8.2010

Actually I like it as it is. The defender has been around for quite some time now and it still looks great and still delivers the performance needed from it well. I hope there wouldn’t be that much changes on it for 2013... a more powerful engine may do the trick perhaps?

  (177) posted on 04.28.2009

Just to add, I think Rover still provides a staggering range of special conversions such as hydraulic platforms, fire engines, mobile workshops, ambulances and breakdown recovery trucks for the Defender. The 130 remains available with the 6-seater HCPU bodystyle as standard.

  (289) posted on 04.28.2009

Just don’t forget. From Spring 2007 a series of long-anticipated changes were made to the Defender, most of which were implemented to meet emissions and safety legislation. The biggest change was to the drivetrain. The Td5 engine was replaced by an engine from Ford’s DuraTorq line. he other major changes were to the interior. The dashboard layout of the original One Ten from 1983 (which was in turn very similar to that used on the Series III from 1971) was replaced with a full-width fascia and different instrumentation. Other interior changes were to the seating layout. Legislation from the European Union outlaws the inward-facing seats used in the rear of previous Land Rover Station Wagons. The 2007 Defender replaced the 4 inward-facing seats with two forward-facing seats. This makes the Defender 90 Station Wagon a four seater vehicle (reduced from six or seven), and the Defender 110 Station Wagon a seven seater (reduced from nine). The only external changes were detail changes. The bonnet was reshaped with a bulge to allow the new engine to fit in the engine bay whilst meeting pedestrian safety rules. The new dashboard and ventilation system necessitated the removal of the distinctive air vent flaps underneath the windscreen which had been a feature of all previous Land Rover utility models. So the coming change by 2013 is not new after all.

  (231) posted on 04.28.2009

A new defender will come out on 2013, still a long wait and a long period to feel bad for the face lift. Like your grandmother getting older each year, our dear beloved Defender needs one good tuning up too. Something of an anachronism in the 2000s, the Defender has no unibody structure and is still largely hand assembled. All its major body panels and sub-assemblies simply bolt together. Thus not only can a Defender be literally broken down to its chassis with simple hand tools there are no un-replaceable stress points. While appreciated in the field and by enthusiasts, this method of manufacture has become increasingly expensive relative to unibody and modular construction.

  (314) posted on 04.28.2009

Defender really have been part of Europe’s face, but demands for competition and better performance, means a face lift and re-engineered masterpiece to come out next. Defender must defend its turf as the one dependable carry-all truck till the next century.

  (421) posted on 04.27.2009

New needed features, new requirement for safety, means updating for the Defender. In the end, they have to sell more and open more possible market for Europe’s workhorse. I think it would be positive for the car and for its avid buyers. I am certain about it. It’s just timely.

  (180) posted on 04.27.2009

A few minutes after I posted my recent comment, I think I know what I really want. To suggest that they should concentrate more on making the engine powerful than to alter too much details on the body kit. I think that would make Michelle happier. Defender would be more productive on its humanitarian purposes. Am I right?

  (177) posted on 04.27.2009

Don’t worry Michelle. I’m sure Topspeed has a little leeway whenever you go sentimental over historical cars. I’m sure they’ll be able to find a middle ground when they come up with the next Defender!

  (182) posted on 04.27.2009

Yes, I also hope that they won’t change much of the details. The history of Defender goes a long way back. The humanitarian tradition will go on and on and on. Okay, I’m getting nostalgic. This is not good for a car blog. LOL.

  (177) posted on 04.27.2009

I hope that they won’t alter too much details in the Defender’s body kit. It would be a disappointment to Range Rover’s enthusiasts. Or if they did, I just hope they won’t overdo it.

  (180) posted on 04.27.2009

It definitely looks tough and sturdy. Range Rover is one of the best cars that you’d want to invest your money in. Even after a few years since one bought it, the owner wouldn’t ever have the giddy feeling to change car. It’s definitely timeless.

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