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Home | News | End of the road for the Queen's favourite 4x4 as Land Rover Defender set to cease production in 2015

End of the road for the Queen's favourite 4x4 as Land Rover Defender set to cease production in 2015

By // News
  • Defender can be traced back to early 1990s - but is based on 1948 model
  • The last of the models will roll off production lines in December 2015
  • It has featured in James Bond and Tomb Raider films, among others
  • But it was originally built with farmers, and sprawling estates in mind

By Amanda Williams

PUBLISHED: 14:52 GMT, 8 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:07 GMT, 8 October 2013

It has been a Royal carriage, and the getaway car for international spies and intrepid explorers of the silver screen.

Some simply use it for the school run.

But now, the Land Rover Defender - built for farmers, now a favourite with the Queen, James Bond, and Tomb Raider's Lara Croft - is to cease production.

The Land Rover Defender - built for farmers, now a favourite with the Queen, James Bond, and Tomb Raider's Lara Croft - is to cease production

The Land Rover Defender - built for farmers, now a favourite with the Queen, James Bond, and Tomb Raider's Lara Croft - is to cease production

The last of the models - pictured here being driven by the Queen at the Windsor show - will be produced by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) at Solihull in the West Midlands in December 2015

The last of the models - pictured here being driven by the Queen at the Windsor show - will be produced by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) at Solihull in the West Midlands in December 2015

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) at the wheel of her Defender in 'Tomb Raider' movie. While Defender production will cease, a new replacement vehicle will join the Land Rover model range

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) at the wheel of her Defender in 'Tomb Raider' movie. While Defender production will cease, a new replacement vehicle will join the Land Rover model range

The last of the models - one of the most-loved and long-lived road vehicles - will be produced by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) at Solihull in the West Midlands in December 2015.

Featuring in the Angelina Jolie film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and in the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, the Defender name can be traced back to the early 1990s.

The much loved vehicle was also featured in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall

The much loved vehicle was also featured in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall

The Queen pictured in 1986 talking to Prince Andrew from the window of her Land Rover at Royal Windsor Show

The Queen pictured in 1986 talking to Prince Andrew from the window of her Land Rover at Royal Windsor Show

Prince Philip pictured in 1955 driving to the European Horse Trials with the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in a Land Rover

Prince Philip pictured in 1955 driving to the European Horse Trials with the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in a Land Rover

But effectively, the popular 4x4 vehicle, which is exported all around the world, represents the continuation of the very first Land Rover which came on to the scene in April 1948 and was modelled on the war-time jeeps.

JLR has confirmed that Defender production will cease but has stressed a new replacement vehicle would join the Land Rover model range, which includes the Freelander, the Discovery and the Range Rover.

THE ROYAL ROMANCE WITH 4X4S

Land Rover holds a royal warrant, as supplier to the royal household.

The royal relationship with Land Rover goes back to to 1948 when King George VI viewed the original Land Rover. 

The Queen, who has been pictured at the wheel of Land Rovers, took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952 and has used Land Rovers ever since.

John Edwards, who has just been announced as the head of JLR's new individual products division, has said that the Defender is 'known and loved the world over'.

He has said the replacement would be 'instantly recognised' by anyone who knows the current vehicle and the 'core values of dependability and functionality' would be retained.

Mr Edwards was also reported as saying the new vehicle 'won't necessarily be cheap'.

Land Rover holds a royal warrant, as supplier to the royal household.

The royal relationship with Land Rover goes back to to 1948 when King George VI viewed the original Land Rover. 

The Queen, who has been pictured at the wheel of Land Rovers, took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952 and has used Land Rovers ever since.

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