A Brief History of the Land Rover Defender

February 28th, 2019 by

It wasn’t goodbye after all. It was just see you later.

After ceasing production in January of 2016, the Land Rover Defender is set to make its return to the streets in 2020. In celebration of its highly-anticipated comeback, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the history of the Land Rover Defender.

How the Defender Got Its Name

The Land Rover Defender officially came to be in 1990, when the Defender name was given to the Land Rover 90 and 110 models. The name change came in response to the 1989 introduction of the Land Rover Discovery, which prompted the brand to come up with a model name for the original design as well.

But although the Defender name only dates back to 1990, the model’s roots can be traced back well before that.

It was at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948 when a British manufacturer unveiled a unique 4-wheel drive design that displayed the off-road capabilities of a Jeep but with the more practical nature of the large sedans popular at the time. Little did anyone know that this would set the precedent for the SUVs that dominate our roadways today.

The Land Rover experienced a number of changes over the next 40 years, including becoming part of Leyland Motors (later British Leyland), temporarily leaving the U.S. market, and the introduction of the now-popular Range Rover model. In 1983, the Land Rover 90 and 110 models were introduced (the numbers referring to the length of their respective wheelbases), which would later be renamed the Defender 90 and Defender 110.

In 2016, due to new emissions regulations set forth by the European Union, the last Land Rover Defender rolled off the production line.

Preparing for the All-New Defender

Perhaps the Defender itself was the only one to know it at the time, but this model wasn’t going to go out like that. Showing the same type of resilience as it does on the road, the Land Rover Defender would get a second chance at life under the new emissions guidelines.

The second coming of the Defender is expected to be available as early as this year as a 2020 model. Many of the details remain a mystery, although early reports indicate the two different wheelbase sizes will remain as options along with a powertrain that is electrified in some way. Even more exciting is that the new Defender will stand not as an individual vehicle but rather as a family of trims.

Stay Updated on the 2020 Defender at Land Rover Treasure Coast

Want to stay informed about any Land Rover Defender news and updates? Contact us at Land Rover Treasure Coast and our staff will stay in touch regarding any insider knowledge including an expected release date and when you can be set up for a test drive.

In the meantime, browse our selection of additional Land Rover vehicles for sale to tide you over. Because with Land Rover, it’s never goodbye. It’s just see you later.