The storied Land Rover Defender, at least as we know it, is not long of this earth. After 32 years in production and a staggering 67 years after its Series I precursors rolled off the line, Land Rover will bring a newer, more modern, and more eco-friendly Defender to market for 2016.
But until that day happens, we can still enjoy the sight of these legendary utes being built at the firm’s Solihull plant, in the English West Midlands. It’s a massive operation and befitting an old dog like the Defender, the production line still features extensive human involvement. Take a look.
Most of the assembly is performed by hand, a far cry from today’s highly automated production lines, which is quite refreshing to see. In fact, it’s not unlike Porsche’s extensively hands-on production line. Solihull has been cranking out the 4-by-4s since 1983, which have become an absolute institution in the off-road world.
As of yet, the world is not privy to the visual and technical details of the new Defender. However there are a few things we can expect. The new ute is expected to don a monocoque chassis in order to save weight and will likely borrow engines from the existing JLR range.
The vehicle’s styling was reportedly signed off on this past summer. Land Rover recently announced it may continue limited production of the current Defender abroad. Considering it doesn’t meet US emissions or safety standards, these shores won’t make that manufacturing short list.