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Another piece on the future of the Defender


Happyoldgit
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Getting rid of the defender, either by replacing it with something completely un-defender like, along the lines of the Evoque, or dropping the model completely would be more than heresy! it would leave all fans of the marque shaking their heads in disapproval.

granted landrover needs to be a profitable business, so maybe building and selling the new defender somewhere in Asia, where the costs are cheaper and legal requirements a lot less stringent would be the way to go, and then selling it in the uk as some type of kit car....

i can't understand how landrover could drop the most iconic vehicle they've ever made... :angry:

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i can't understand how landrover could drop the most iconic vehicle they've ever made... :angry:

In the same way that VW are no longer making the original Beatle, or Ferrari are no longer making the 250 GTO.

The Defender may be iconic, but does have its design rooted in the 50's. It will only be a matter of time before they retire the design.

What we should be interested in is if and what they intend to replace it with, and whether it will be as capable off road, as easy to maintain, as reliable (not difficult) and capable of accessing remote locations.

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The problem is the design is far too labour intensive to build.

The competition (ie toyotas, nissans and other similar 4x4's) are much less of a lego set, and much more designed to be something that a robot can weld together.

That said, i dont see why they couldnt build a defender bodyshell the same way they've done the earlier rangerover/disco models. It would reduce the ability for owners to swap and change between the bodystyles though, and would mean they'd have to work out how to deal with the many variations on the defender body, plus make the new design meet all the relevant safety guff.

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at the end of the day it does not mater what we the people think.we are not allowed to have our say, its all about the hard cash and the small amount that the defender brings to land rover is not worth them doing a new model. and what the heck i will not be aloud to drive my 90 off my drive soon <lez> and all.free country my arse :angry:

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As said above it is all about hard cash. This is why iconic vehicles are kept going or brought back. The Beetle was retired, popular opinion brought it back in a modern form. The MGB, the mini (twice) numerous versions of the VW camper van, even, dare I say it here the Toyota Hilux have al;; been resurrected or kept on past the natural life of other models in their manufacturer's range..

The hard cash comes from us the buyers. If the manufacturer does not make a vehicle we want to buy, he loses the sale to someone who does.

A question I would pose is how much of the allure of the Range Rover, Disco and Freelander comes from the fact that it is made by tha same people who have made the most Series/Defender range of the most capable 4x4's for the last 50+ years. Vehicles dearly beloved by a popular image of land-owning, tweed wearing fiarly wealthy country people.

Without the Defender the Range Rover and Disco might just become some complete monmstrosity range of vehicles with immense off-road capability for which their owners pay dearly in many ways and then never use. All just because of the popular image. No Defender, no image ? That is my question.

If it is the case, and the Defender, as a recognisable utility vehicle from 1950's is withdrawn, Tata may find the rest of their range becomes pretty unattractive. And if that happens, they'll have to bring the Defender back :D :D :D

A big if in the middle there.

Regards

Richard

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In the same way that VW are no longer making the original Beatle, or Ferrari are no longer making the 250 GTO.

True, but my thinking is that the Beetle and 250 GTO were fantastic cars in their day but have since been superceded by models which had more of the requirements of the demographic buying them, and have been altered/improved to comply with more laws.

the defender and series may have been designed as agricultural and military vehicles, but the qualities they have are still relevant and important to the majority of people who use them.

even not taking into account us, the fans, i'll bet the aid agenices, explorers, rescue agencies and military who use them can vouch for their being a reason to keep a vehicle like that alive?

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I've never understood why Landrover couldn't update the Defender in the same way that Jeep have with the latest Wrangler, the latest JK model clearly is a 'Jeep', but with many modern features and a construction more in tune with modern production techniques.

The global market for a basic, rugged 4x4 is obvious, with the likes of Nissan and Toyota (and Jeep in a way) still making basic versions of their old models with solid axles and simple trim for the Middle East, Asia and Africa. A 'new' defender built and designed with thought could easily slip into these markets, not to mention the UK, Europe and US leisure markets.

Also, take a look at American domestic market pick ups, the Hilux etc to see that options for body style can still be done with pressed steel, robot welded components.

I think Landrover would be making a big mistake to drop or re-define the Defender. A well thought out re-design while keeping the ethos of a capable 4x4 could be money well spent in maintaining the brand and could last another 10-20 years before another major re-design.

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The thing is you can buy other vehicles based on SVO custom layouts. I have a Ford Ranger (sorry) as my daily biffabout and you can pull the whole back end off it in less than an afternoon by undoing a few wires, about six bolts and a couple of jubilee clips - leaving just the pickup cab and a bare chassis. Is that so different from a Defender chassis cab? You could build whatever you wanted to on the back and still have a Mazda engine in the front that never goes wrong and a heater that works.

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Blasphemer! Stone the infidel! Does your Ranger leak like my LandRover? Does it shake quite so vigorously on rough road surfaces? It'll never be the same...

The truth is that the Defender, and any vehicle that will unbolt to come apart, must be bolted together to assemble it, and that makes it more expensive to build than a RangeLander with a clip-in dashboard and glue-together engine. When you can sell the cheaper car for more money, why not trade on your brand and leave other companies to pick up the low-margin end of the market. I don't think that most RR buyers are heading to the LR dealer because there's a big square truck parked out front next to their new "lifestyle choice", they're doing it because they get a nice car with a badge the neighbours are jealous of.

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Until they stop thinking of Defender as a car and remember that its actually a very fast and comfortable tractor Land Rover will never get truly back on track.

Judging Defender by car scale profits is at best stupid. If Defender only breaks even they have a complete bargain on their hands with the amount of subliminal advertising every news programme gives them. Nations hit by the ravages of the worst weather the world can create, every war zone, every expedition, every emergency service theres a Defender in the background, you can buy that advertising that only comes from having the right product.

I'd strip Defender back to basics to make it cheaper to build and more reliable. It'll take the aftermarket companies about a week to catch up and have upgrades on sale for added comfort etc, LR can even cherrypick these and offer them as 'Approved' to fleece the toffs at dealer level if they want to.

Will :)

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I've never understood why Landrover couldn't update the Defender in the same way that Jeep have with the latest Wrangler, the latest JK model clearly is a 'Jeep', but with many modern features and a construction more in tune with modern production techniques.

I have a feeling it's because they have been beholden to the MOD. In the article it says that civilians buy more than the MOD - but the MOD is such a good advert in effect - they need to keep them happy with a vehicle which can be maintained on a battlefield.

Jeep have never been lumbered with trying to please the military - so can move with the times.

There have been several new versions of classic cars like the Mini, Beetle, Hilux & Fiat 500 (as already mentioned). I think Land Rover could do a similar makeover on a Defender. Something which includes sufficient visual cues to make it identifiable as a defender, but under the covers just a pressed steel box on a D3 platform.

The Indi suspension would allow better use to be made of the load space and improve the drivability and handling and I think make it appeal to a wider cross section. Give it Air Con that actually works, drink holders and make it quiet and comfortable to drive and it will be a winner.

There will still be enough beam axles about for the next 50 years for off roaders to convert them & get rid of the Indi and enough smart people out there to make the indi perform better than beam axles!

If it has enough leg room for me to fit in - I'd buy one!

Si

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I'm pretty sure Eunos was a badge-engineered version of the contemporary Mazda product? We see them in the UK as grey imports.

I expect there will be small-volume 300Tdi Defender 'kits' for some years, in the same way that you can buy Mexican(?) VW Beetles and Vans on 2010 registrations, but they'll be short-runs and limited numbers.

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I'm afraid the defender is hopeless, It just cannot compete with jap double cab pick ups.

Just look at the prices of a double cab pickup compared to a double cab 110, then take into account that a jap pickup has nice cruising speeds, very comftable and are just as capable offroad in standard form (generally better because they have LSD's)

I'm certainly considering buying a nissan/toyota after my td5 90.

Landrovers are the love of my life, and always will be, but they are really really really carp.

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Landrovers are the love of my life, and always will be, but they are really really really carp.

I'm glad someone said it, well done that man! Landrovers generally are carp, in particular the Defender, but even the pre-D3 models are hopeless compared to their competition. I wish I'd bought a Landcruiser or Patrol instead of my D2, but unfortunately I didn't and it then depreciated so fast I couldn't afford to change it.

The Defender desperately needs updating, not into some supermarket show off vehicle, but into a genuine global product. It's losing out in the rest of world markets, like I said above the developing world needs strong, simple reliable vehicles with great off road prowess. Plus the european and north american leisure markets would lap up a new 'offroad' model etc.

A few years ago there was a similar thread to this, but more 'what would you build' and I said then and still say that if LR built a nice Defender which was comfortable, had heating/aircon that worked, had a decent engine and didn't looked like a crushed can from the factory I'd buy one, maybe even two. As it is I'll probably buy a Ram and a Navara and I can't be alone.

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On a purely personal note I've just bought another new Puma Defender and while I always consider and look at the rivals again none of them matched my requirements as well as the Land Rover product.

With reference to the heating and aircon: While it was that they were sometimes lacking and inefficient in the earlier models the current model is far, far better.

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re-read his comments in that interview about making it cheaper

dont forget that they are owned by Tata motors from India - the country that still successfully builds and sells many motors from the 60s and 70s to developing countries. Hindustan Ambassador :lol:

The defender will continue for as long as is profitable worldwide. Then when it stops being profitable to build in the UK and export due to low sales - they'll strip the factory of the equipment and set it up in India and carry on building them (possibly with the mechanical and therefore easily maintained tdi engine) for sale locally and in 3rd world countries where emissions laws are non existent. They will carry on building it out of completely appalling locally sourced steel and ally - no change there then - and the labour cost will be about $23 a car at Indian market rates. Therefore it will be extremely cheap in comparison to all the other local 4x4s on sale over there and jap stuff in developing countries..

Think of the brazilian made Beetle as a good example of this sort of manufacturing market economy. Poorly built, but fits the local market perfectly. Although i'm not quite sure how they can make the defender any more poorly built, but i'm sure they'll try!

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On a purely personal note I've just bought another new Puma Defender and while I always consider and look at the rivals again none of them matched my requirements as well as the Land Rover product.

With reference to the heating and aircon: While it was that they were sometimes lacking and inefficient in the earlier models the current model is far, far better.

I did see your thread on that, and it does look really good. On my personal note though, I have run american vehicles for work for a few years and really wanted to buy something domestic market (for the insurance, spares, cost etc) and looked into the Defender 130 HCPU. Compared to the Dodge Ram, it has less than half the power, is slower, noisier, less comfortable, and I just recieved the final price of the 'top spec' Ram while I've writing this and for the price of a Ram with every comfort know to man you couldn't even get electric windows on the 130!

Now bring on a TDV8 powered 130 and I'm there....

Just my 10p....

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I'm afraid the defender is hopeless, It just cannot compete with jap double cab pick ups.

Just look at the prices of a double cab pickup compared to a double cab 110, then take into account that a jap pickup has nice cruising speeds, very comftable and are just as capable offroad in standard form (generally better because they have LSD's)

Sorry but that is rubbish unless your idea of "off road" is a nice UK greenlane most of which are better than our rural roads here.

I have both (a Thai-built Ford Ranger and a Defender 110) and in no way shape or form does the Ranger even begin to compare to a Defender when you take it properly off road. Neither does the Discovery or any of the other posh models that all the colour comics claim are "better than a Defender off road".

Yes for an on-road work truck for light jobs a riceburner is better in a lot of ways, warmer, quieter and more comfortable and that is why I have mine, it was cheap and is ideal to cart fuel drums to our house and rubbish from it, but they are absolutely hopeless off road. The LSD fitted to most of them is because the concrete suspension means they lift wheels off the ground over anything bigger than a grass bog, the suspension is basically awful - too hard on the back and too soft and bouncy on the front which is a lousy combination both on and off road. My father has a Mitsubishi L200 and it has all the same strengths and faults as the Ranger. I like the Ranger for what it is good at, and I like the Defender for what it is good at, and they are quite different vehicles. For a lot of users that are largely road based with the odd muddy track a crewcab is fine and probably the best solution, and that's why they have hounded the Defender out because the Defender is simply overkill for most of the jobs people do and the discomfort is a big drawback. That's why my Defender lives in the garage most of the time and only comes out for the trips (and the jobs) that the Ranger won't hack. I'll throw the Ranger away in another three years or so (even though it's the newer vehicle); the Defender I still expect to have in ten or maybe fifteen.

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I'm afraid the defender is hopeless, It just cannot compete with jap double cab pick ups.

Just look at the prices of a double cab pickup compared to a double cab 110, then take into account that a jap pickup has nice cruising speeds, very comftable and are just as capable offroad in standard form (generally better because they have LSD's)

I'm certainly considering buying a nissan/toyota after my td5 90.

Landrovers are the love of my life, and always will be, but they are really really really carp.

We have a lot of Asian pick ups here (Aus), and I can assure you none are as capable or as comfortable off road or touring as a Defender.

Most now have superior engine performance - one of my biggest gripes with Defender.

The Defender replacement does need a welded body produced on a modern line, with decent isolation for NVH and due consideration of modern safety expectations while retaining a family resemblance.

I hope they can make it a bit wider for better elbow room, give it more seat adjustment for taller people, and a decent power plant with robust drive train - drive train strength has been going down since 1985, and is pathetic now - an auto option (though not for me) would greatly help sales. The TDV6/8 is not an answer IMHO - Defender would be better served with a good 4 cyl, 3.0 to 3.2 litre Tdi (but not based on 300Tdi).

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Most now have superior engine performance - one of my biggest gripes with Defender.

That I also agree with though the Puma is night and day to all other engines in the range and it is what the Td5 always should have been like. Shame that it is still spoiled by a lousy gearchange experience.

Engine power is also the other reason the crewcabs need the LSD because otherwise when empty they spin the inside rear wheel in 2WD as soon as you breathe on the throttle. Interesting on our loose gravel roads :o

It may be heresy to diehards with green blood, but a nice Toyota D4D engine would suit the Defender perfectly IMHO :)

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