Law Changes Extend Current Defender's Life Until 2017

By Trevor Dorchies | October 20, 2011
The iconic Defender, Land Rover's durable, never-say-die off-roader, has gotten another chance at life after the European Union amended emissions regulations. With the changes in place the Defender will now stay on the road until at least 2017. The DC-100 concept is slated to take the Defender's spot in 2015 but it will now have to cohabit with its predecessor for two years. Changes to the EU's emissions standards allow the 2.2-liter diesel engine under the Defender's hood to squeak by for now. A few years back the Defender earned itself the coveted commercial vehicle tag, which permitted side-stepping air-pollution regulations. Next up for the EU will be ironing out emissions regulations that will merge diesel pollutants with those from gasoline in 2015-2016. Other whispers suggest the Defender might be exempt from the regulations all together since it's now classified as a commercial vehicle. The DC-100 concept is a short wheelbase and modernized version of the stalwart Defender that was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. An unforeseen turn of events have put air back in the original Defender's sails more than once but Land Rover still went ahead and readied a replacement. The DC-100 concept will step in as the new Defender is 2015 and will be completely redesigned both inside and out. Identifiable styling cues will make the jump to the new Defender such as the boxy profile, exposed spare tire, and short wheelbase. Pedestrian impact laws, like the idea to stick airbags on the outside of cars to soften the blow in the event of a collision, were set to drop the curtain on the Defender in 2015 originally. Now Land Rover has been getting word the Defender may be exempt from this rule adding more momentum for the Defender. The resulting worst-case scenario of Land Rover offering new and old versions of the wildly popular Defender isn't really all that bad. However, it's got to be a little awkward working with the guy you're suppose to replace, right? Do you think Land Rover should delay the release of the DC-100 concept into production? Tell us what you think in the comment section below. Source: Autocar