Land Rover Defender Heritage: 1998 – 2000s

Land Rover Defender for Sale

Land Rover Defenders have evolved consistently over the course of 60 plus years, but with each stage came different changes: some drastic, some minor. Regardless, everything always stays true to quality and craftsmanship. The Defender’s exotic early history, from military beginnings in the shadow of World War II to its farmland roots, sometimes obscures what is a very interesting modern history. In the 1990s, Land Rover Defenders in the U.S. began to become a more common phenomenon, and as they did, the trucks had to progress yet again.

The late 1990s to early 2000s also brought with them a new engine for the Defender in the form of the 122bhp five-cylinder TD5. In December of 1998, this became the default engine for all Defenders, be they 110s, 90s, or NAS variations. This is the engine that defined Defenders as regular road vehicles known to be rather powerful enough for any terrain you may look to take them on, but more supple in handling than some previous generations. The TD5 of the late 90s was also introduced in order to meet more rigid European emission standards that had developed over the years.

Defenders had made it over the pond before the 1990s but generally in small numbers to specific buyers in secondary markets. Beginning in 1993, Land Rover officially brought the Defender to the U.S. in the form of the NAS line of vehicles. Developed specifically because of United States road standards, NAS (North American Specification) Defenders were marketed as a vehicle that could be driven by families with an edge. In 1994 and 1995 editions, Defender NAS 90s were outfitted with simple but powerful 3.9-liter V8s; with its smaller size and more common engine configuration, these Defenders were much more suited for the commercial American market than any prior formats.

Land Rover Defenders coming to the U.S. was one of many headlines for the legendary truck through the 1990s and 2000s. Defenders have morphed in a kaleidoscope of variations throughout its history. That’s one of the things that make them both sought after, and so readily comported to incredible modifications. These later years also saw a steady change in engine types: the TDCI 4-cylinder diesel around 2007, and the 2.2-liter diesel in 2012. Through all of these changes, the trucks remained classics, and it’s off the basis of this generation of vehicles that East Coast Defender makes its cutting-edge modifications today. To be included in this evolution of the Defender, contact us today at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at for more information.