A NEW DE­FENDER?

Classics Monthly - - Fuel -

Chem­i­cal gi­ant INEOS has con­firmed plans to build ‘an un­com­pro­mis­ing off-roader’ in the mould of the late Land Rover De­fender, dis­con­tin­ued last Jan­uary.

INEOS con­ducted a six-month fea­si­bil­ity study after fail­ing to buy the rights to the De­fender from Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which re­cently de­fended its in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty against Bom­bardier in court.

Other man­u­fac­tur­ers li­censed (and im­proved) Series, County and De­fender de­riv­a­tives dur­ing the model’s long life, in­clud­ing Min­erva in France, San­tana/ Iveco in Spain and Mo­rat­tab-Kho­dro in Iran. The lat­ter still makes modern ver­sions of the San­tana Series IV /2500 (as the Mo­rat­tab Pazhan) to this day.

UK buy­ers have few choices left if they want a ba­sic off-roader in the De­fender’s mould. Lada Niva im­ports stopped ear­lier this year and the sim­ple, stripped-out Suzuki Jimny is slowly mov­ing away from its roots.

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