A NEW DEFENDER?
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.