The Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Land Rover Defender have been honoured by leading UK weekly motoring magazine Auto Express. The Discovery Sport has been named as Best Compact SUV in the Auto Express New Car Awards, while the Land Rover Defender becomes the first vehicle to be inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame.
The honour for Defender celebrates 67 years of production of the original Land Rover, and the recent building of the two-millionth example. Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said: “We’re delighted that the Defender is the first car to ever be inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame. It’s a car that has enriched so many lives around the world for such a long period of time, but best of all, it’s an example of British engineering at its finest. The first car launched back in 1948 was so clever and so right, that very little has changed between then and now – it’s an outstanding achievement and it’s still an outstanding vehicle today.”
Jaguar Land Rover engineering director Nick Rogers collected the award at last night’s ceremony at London’s Connaught Rooms. He said: “It’s an honour to be accepting this award on behalf of everyone at Land Rover. Defender has always been an inspiration for our future products, and we continue to pioneer in the same way our founders did.
“Defender’s longevity is a reflection of its appeal as a global motoring icon having explored the world many times over, so the Defender nameplate remains a key part of Land Rover’s future product strategy."
The 2,000,000th Land Rover Series vehicle and Defender was completed at the Solihull production facility in May, with the help of a team of life-long fans including adventurer Bear Grylls. It will be auctioned in December in aid of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Born Free Foundation.
BUILDING THE 2,000,000TH DEFENDER
Launched last autumn as the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV, the Discovery Sport has been quick to garner accolades. Steve Fowler said: “The new holder of the Auto Express Best Compact SUV title stands out as the very best in a hugely competitive market”, adding: “It has been cleverly conceived with SUV users in mind, so it does the family things brilliantly, is great to drive, has awesome off-road ability and plenty of tech on board. It’s also a super-stylish SUV, completing the appeal.”
Vehicle programme director Paul Cleaver received the Discovery Sport award. He said: “It is enormously gratifying for everyone involved in the creation of the Discovery Sport to see their efforts and ingenuity recognised by the respected editorial team at Auto Express. We are immensely grateful for the honour.”