You know the old Land Rover Defender wasn’t great, it wasn’t the personification of gentrification, it wasn’t that great a drive, it wasn’t well built and the interior ergonomics was flawed as hell and felt somewhat rudimentary among 21st Century rivals. Reliability? What reliability. But you know what it had? Let me put it this way, John Wayne the long-forgotten Hollywood movie star reminds me of the old Land Rover Defender. John Wayne was a terrible actor, but what he had was presence, screen presence. And that’s what made a John Wayne movie watchable. And that’s what the old Defender had… screen presence.
Despite reliability issues (of which there were many), it felt robust, like you could go to war in it, even if it meant you would probably end up pushing it out of the battlefield as you make a hasty retreat under intense enemy fire. Despite its stubbornness you still loved the Defender, you loved the flaws, you loved the sparsely appointed interior with few creature comforts because you knew it was the master of all-terrains.
And the old Defender had presence, originality but god it was expensive to maintain. But you didn’t care, because this was an all-purpose vehicle with a purpose. And it had a kind-of disposable and reusable quality about it. Trying to re-invent this multitude of inequalities and contradictions for the 21st Century buyer was always going to be difficult.
And the all-new Land Rover Defender is evidence of how difficult the journey of reinvention has become. Look at it… all new and shiny and god damn expensive. It is product upscaling, gentrification. God damn you Land Rover what have you done to it? It is now a Posh Rover, bought by the cocaine addled, polo watching, prosecco sipping, pill-popping, ecstasy chewing upper-middle-classes.
And to add to the downfall of the new generation gentrified Defender, Land Rover has admitted a Luxury Defender 130 is in the works, to compete with the Mercedes G Class. Land Rover Defender, you have now become a beacon for cocaine addled professionals earning £50k and above, you have lost the go anywhere do anything tag.
You… you are merely a luxury trophy now doomed to spend the rest of your working life fleeting your cocaine addled owner and his/her friends to the next cocaine-fueled upper-middle-class prosecco sipping party and that’s why you are the worst car of the week.