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GENEVA MOTOR SHOW: Defender's last stand?

Land Rover is introducing two new option packs for the venerable Defender, in its final year of production

Published: Thu, 20 Feb 2014

Keep the home fires burning... that's the tactic for Land Rover in the final stage of production for its iconic Defender. 

The hard-core offroader can trace its ancestry back to 1948 and is quintessentially British, but its demise is not far off – thanks to safety and emissions legislation. Land Rover is known to be working hard on a successor, but a 2015 model year update will ensure the current Defender receives the proper farewell. 

Two new option packs and some specification tweaks to be introduced at Geneva next month will usher in the 2015 model year update, which commences from July this year.  The 'Black Pack' option can be identified by the Santorini Black paint applied to the roof, grille (and surround), headlight bezels, wheel arches, bonnet badging and interior fascia. Privacy glass, Alston headlining and gloss black wheels (either 'Sawtooth' alloys or heavy duty steel) are all part of the pack. 

The 'Silver Pack' option is distinguishable from standard Defenders by the Indus Silver paint for roof, grille, surround, headlight bezels and fascia. Dual Finish alloys are standard, as are white tail light and indicator lenses. 

Land Rover is also expanding the range of options for the Defender with, among other things an aluminium-look painted silver side runner and contrasting leather seat upholstery in three colour choices. The coordinating colour schemes are Ebony/Pimento, Ebony/Tan or Ebony/Lunar. Land Rover will allow buyers the further option of specifying the contrasting leather colours for second and third-row seats, as well as the front/centre stowage compartment. 

Specification changes across the range for the 2015 model year include a new colour – Yulong White – and standard stability control for the 90-inch and 110-inch wheelbase models. 130-inch models will gain ABS for the first time with the 2015 update. 

The new colour won't be available from the start of MY15 production, but will come on stream in August. Unfortunately, that rules it out for Australia, since the last shipment of Defender for the Australian market will be built and exported before the new colour comes on stream. And the Aussie-spec vehicles are due here in September of this year. 

It's the last chance for local buyers to get in for a current series Defender.

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