The Defender will be axed from Land Rover’s European lineup when production ends in England in December of this year. The automaker is bidding farewell to the iconic off-roader with a year of celebrations that has kicked off with the arrival of three limited-edition models called Autobiography, Heritage and Adventure, respectively.
Those familiar with Land Rover’s current lineup will not be surprised to find out that the Autobiography Edition is aimed at the top end of the off-roader market. Exclusively offered as a 90 Station Wagon, it stands out thanks to a unique two-tone paint job, LED projector headlamps, clear turn signals, aluminum door handles, side steps, a sprinkling of Autobiography badges and 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped by Goodyear MT/T tires.
The upmarket treatment continues inside with Santorini Black trim on the center console, full leather upholstery on the seats, the headliner, the door panels and the dashboard, unique floor mats and spun metal discs in the cupholder slots. The door lock buttons, the air vent bezels and the door handles are all crafted out of aluminum.
The 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine’s output has been bumped to 150 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque, an increase of 20 ponies and 30 lb-ft. over the stock Defender. Land Rover has not announced what effect the extra grunt has on performance and fuel economy.
The Land Rover Defender Autobiography Edition will go on sale next April with a base price of £61,500 in the United Kingdom and €64,000 (about $76,000) in mainland Europe. Just 80 examples will be offered in the UK.
As its name implies, the Heritage Edition pays homage to the Series models that were built for decades. It wears a retro design with a Series-inspired radiator grille, a two-tone Grasmere Green / Alaska White paint job, body-colored steel wheels and vintage-looking badges. “HUE 166” graphics hark back to the registration number of the very first pre-production Series I that was built and registered in 1947.
The heritage treatment is a little toned-down inside, where the upgrades largely consist of aluminum trim bits, new floor mats, leather upholstery on the steering wheel, the shift knob and the handbrake lever as well as two-tone seats upholstered in Almond Resolve Cloth and Ebony Vinyl.
Land Rover has not made any modifications under the hood, meaning the Defender Heritage Edition is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel mill that makes 130 horsepower and 265 lb-ft. of torque.
Offered in both 90 and 110 body styles, the Land Rover Defender Heritage Edition will go on sale next August with a base price of £30,900 in the UK and €39,900 (approximately $47,300) in Europe. 400 Heritage Editions have been earmarked for the UK.
Finally, the Adventure Edition adds underbody protection beneath the engine and the rocker panels, LED projector beam headlights and alloy wheels wrapped by Goodyear MT/R tires. Although the press shots published by Land Rover depicts the Adventure Edition with a snorkel and a full roof rack, the two features don’t show up on the list of standard equipment so whether they’re standard or optional is anyone’s guess.
The interior is again more form than function with acres of leather upholstery, a number of aluminum trim pieces and a Santorini Black center console. No modifications were made under the hood.
The Adventure Edition is offered in 90 Hard Top, 90 Station Wagon, 110 Utility Wagon and 110 Station Wagon body styles. It will go on sale in August – at the same time as the aforementioned Heritage Edition – with a base price of £38,400 in the UK, where 600 examples will be up for grabs, and €45,900 (about $54,500) in Europe.
Although the Defender will disappear from the Land Rover catalog in Europe on December 31st, the automaker has confirmed that it hasn’t ruled out shifting production to an overseas market that isn’t part of the European Union and selling the off-roader locally. Executives did not reveal what countries are under consideration but they said that production would be low and largely reserved for fleet buyers and special vehicle operations.