Land Rover 75th-Anniversary Defender Is Freshly Minted

Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover
  • Next year will mark 75 years since the first Land Rover, the Series I, was shown to the public at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

  • The commemorative Defender, known as the 75th Limited Edition, will be available in two- and four-door configurations but will only come with the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine.

  • Standard features include a folding fabric roof and an 11.4-inch touchscreen, but the signature feature is the Grasmere Green paint exclusive to this model.

Launched to a motoring public used to post–World War II austerity, the original Land Rover blended the ride quality of a tractor with the creature comforts of a tin garden shed. It was a sort of Wellington boot on wheels, capable of everything from farm labor to pan-global exploration. Every single early Land Rover exudes a deep sense of British pluck. And probably a minor oil slick.

To celebrate the lasting charm of the original effort, Jaguar Land Rover has launched a commemorative edition of the current Defender. A modern Land Rover is an entirely different beast than its agricultural ancestor, like a high-rise apartment at London's opulent One Hyde Park compared to a thatched shepherd's cottage. Nevertheless, the new Defender is still charming in its way, and here's a special one.

The 75thLimited Edition will be available in either 90 or 110 trims, Land Rover's terms for the short-wheelbase two-door and the longer four-door version. Regardless of the door count, every one will be powered by the P400 class 3.0-liter inline-six. A turbocharged and supercharged hybrid, this engine is good for 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is—of course—on-demand four-wheel drive.

The standard interior features on the Defender 75th Limited Edition are a blend of luxury and off-road intent. There's a retractable folding fabric roof to let in the great outdoors, and the center console is trimmed in material designed to take abuse. At the same time, the 75th gets heated seats and steering wheel, a head-up display, an upgraded stereo, and an 11.4-inch touchscreen to handle infotainment duties.

Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

The real story is the paint, dubbed Grasmere Green. We last saw this shade on the Heritage Edition Defenders, and it's a direct link to the early Land Rovers. The sort of semi-institutional color you might see in a 1950s British hospital, it's quite a bit lighter and less metallic than greens found elsewhere in the automotive landscape.

Photo credit: Richard Pardon/Land Rover
Photo credit: Richard Pardon/Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

For the 75thLimited Edition, the green extends to painted wheels and interior accents as well. It's still a Wellie on wheels. But a really very nice one. Pricing is expected to be announced shortly.

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