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It’s been 68 years since a Mr Maurice Wilks first traced the Land Rover Defender’s chiseled bulk in the sands at Red Wharf Bay, near Anglesey. And very nearly seven decades on, you can still buy one brand new. But not for much longer, says Land Rover. Maybe.

Defender production at Landie’s Solihull plant will cease in 2015, and to mark the occasion, the SUV stalwart has drawn a massive, 1km long silhouette of the Defender at Red Wharf Bay using, yep, some Defenders.

Cool. But it’s the three limited edition specials Landie’s announced that we’re interested in. The £61,845 (for a Defender) Autobiography Edition (pictured, grey) benefits from a small power hike (up to 148bhp from 120), as well as a full leather interior and two-tone paintwork.

The Adventure (orange), a veritable bargain at £43,495, ups the Defender’s already prodigious go-anywhere ability with a set of chunkier tyres and added underbody protection. Our favourite, though, is the Heritage Edition. It harks back to Defenders past with its ‘Grasmere Green’ hue, special grille and steel wheels. It’s the cheapest of the three, too, with a staring price of ‘just’ £27,800.

Just 80 Autobiography Editions, 400 Heritages and 600 Adventures will be built. And then nothing. No more. The end of Defender as we know it.

Or not. You see, Land Rover now admits that it’s looking into maintaining production of the existing Defender at an unspecified facility outside the EU. It says “any continuation would see low volume production maintained for sale outside the EU”. In other words: they aren’t for us.


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