New Land Rover Defender unveiled
The successor to one of the most popular road vehicles has been unveiled.
Land Rover said the new Defender is “an icon reimagined for the 21st century”.
The original version of the 4×4 was a favourite with the Queen and featured in films such as the James Bond movie Skyfall and Edge Of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise.
But Jaguar Land Rover ended production at its Solihull factory in the West Midlands in January 2016 amid difficulties in meeting modern safety and emissions standards.
A new Defender, which will be built in Slovakia, was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday.
Land Rover said the vehicle’s silhouette makes it “instantly recognisable” but insisted it has been designed “for a new age”.
It is “the ultimate 4×4 for overland adventures”, with a towing capacity of 3,500kg and a wading depth of up to 90cm.
Land Rover chief design officer Gerry McGovern said: “The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it.
“This is a new Defender for a new age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”
The Defender name can be traced back to the early 1990s but it represents the continuation of the very first Land Rover, which came on to the scene in April 1948 and was modelled on wartime Jeeps.
The Queen took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952 and has used Land Rovers ever since.