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Fitting swansong for 60-year-old Defender

Limited: Defender 110 SVX gets new looks and features, but no airbags.

Land Rover says goodbye to Defender with a bang via the 60th anniversary SVX special

17 Apr 2008

LAND ROVER has announced full Australian pricing and specifications for its special-edition Defender 110 SVX, which is likely to be the final and finest iteration of the iconic British off-road model that dates back to 1948.

Designed to celebrate the Defender’s 60th anniversary and due on sale here by October, the single SVX version is the most luxuriously appointed Defender ever and will be priced at $62,990.

The Defender’s long-term future following the recent purchase of the Land Rover and Jaguar brands by India’s Tata automotive giant is unclear.

24 center imageBut LR Australia chiefs told GoAuto at the launch of the current L316 series last November, when the Defender received a new diesel engine and interior among other changes, that the 07MY update would extend its life only to 2010.

That’s when new pedestrian-friendlier impact laws in the European Union will necessitate either a complete redesign, which previous owner Ford was reluctant top undertake given the Defender’s current annual production of just 25,000 vehicles, or a new front-end design that would constitute the first major body revision since the Series IV update appeared in 1983.

Daimler’s recent success in winning the lucrative Project Overlander contract, which will see Mercedes models replace the Australian defence force’s entire military vehicle fleet over the next 15 years, is believed to have been a blow to the future of the Defender, but other similar military contracts and the emergence of new Defender markets such as China and Russia, could help see its life extended.

But with ever tightening emissions and crash-test performance requirements looming, a potential 2010 facelift for the Defender, which still lacks airbags, would be relatively short-lived, at least in western markets including Australia.

All of this means that you’re looking at what’s likely to be the most highly specified, most luxurious and most stylish Defender ever produced.

The regular 110, like the Defender 130 cab-chassis ($50,990), will continue alongside the special-edition SVX, just 60 examples of which will be available in Australia.

Priced at a $14,000 premium over the current Defender 110 wagon ($48,990) upon which it is based - and with which it shares its 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission - the Defender SVX will come only in Santorini black metallic paint and will be available as a seven-seat 110 station wagon.

Also available as a short-wheelbase 90 hard-top and soft-top in the UK, just 1800 examples of the SVX will be produced globally – all of which will come with an individually numbered commemorative plaque.

New features include restyled grille and headlight surrounds, tubular side-steps, unique 16-inch alloy wheels with bright-finish centre caps and silver logo, a reinforced aluminium front under-shield, clear-lens headlights and LED reverse/foglights at the rear.

Other exterior features will include a satin black finish for the intake and heater covers, body-coloured wheel-arches, “Titan” bonnet badging, an SVX metallic badge, a metallic rear Defender badge and silver Land Rover roundels, locking wheel nuts, a body-coloured roof, heated rear window with wash/wipe function, front and rear mudflaps, a folding rear step, rear door stowage net and a sunroof.

Inside, the SVX offers custom-designed Recaro leather front seats, matching rear “County Grey leather/Dune cloth” seat trim, machined alloy gear and diff knobs, a new Clarion “High Ice” audio system (with upgraded speakers, subwoofer, USB socket and iPod compatibility) and a Garmin satellite-navigation system.

There will also be a metallic SVX key chain, a “Titan” switch panel, satin black body wrap decals, a unique cubby box lid with interior lights, air-conditioning, carpet floor mats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, powered front windows, remote central locking, a heated front windscreen, heated front seats and a leather-bound handbook.

Safety and security features continue to comprise anti-lock brakes, traction control, ventilated disc brakes, a perimetric alarm with immobiliser, first-aid kit and fire extinguisher.

Read more:

Aged Defender gets SVX treatment

Defender in doubt

First drive: Die-hard Defender's new lease on life

Defender gets new diesel, interior

Land Rover defends its turf

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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