Tony O'Kane | Oct 21, 2011

For a while it looked like impending emissions regulations would mark the end of the Land Rover Defender, but now it appears the iconic four wheel drive may have a stay of execution.

According to UK outlet Autocar, the commercial/agricultural Land Rover 110 and 130 may continue being built in their current form even after the introduction of the all-new three-door Defender (to be based on the DC100 concept), which is set to debut in 2015.

The current long-wheelbase Defenders could survive up until 2017 - and possibly beyond - thanks to their status as commerical vehicles, which exempts them from the tighter emissions legislation that applies to passenger vehicles.

Even if the current Defender's engine's are deemed too sooty, Land Rover's new 2.2 litre diesel engine is Euro VI compliant, and could help it stay emissions-legal beyond Euro VI's 2015-2016 introduction.

Safety - particularly pedestrian safety - is another barrier to the current Defender's production future, however Land Rover believes that the Defender could be exempted from pedestrian impact requirements until 2020.

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