The future though remains intriguingly uncertain. Land Rover will unequivocally replace the Defender - but the precise shape and nature of that car is a subject that rolls ruminatively around Gaydon like an imperial mint in the mouth of a distracted undergrad. Certainly it will not be exactly - or perhaps even vaguely - like the car it supersedes. And in that respect there are those who unhesitatingly feel like they could do better.
If that sounds like lunacy then it's worth relating that Ineos Automotive not only has some financial clout courtesy of its parent company, but that the product they're talking about is a decidedly niche-market prospect for (one would suspect) the type of buyer currently happy to pay upwards of £70k for a nearly new example of the last Defender - or more for a Twisted or Kahn Design version.
The Ineos Grenadier - a temporary name borrowed from pub where the idea was reputedly born - will not, of course, actually be a Defender (JLR takes a famously litigious view of anyone silly enough to colour inside its trademarked lines) but will instead borrow liberally from its idiosyncratic list of features: an aluminium body, steel coil suspension, four-wheel drive, very generous axle articulation and the separate ladder frame chassis made unfashionable by the industry's preoccupation with unitary construction.
Still, nowhere is the ground softer for such exploits than the UK. The Defenders enormous popularity notwithstanding, the buying public's affection for cottage-industry-style manufacturers is well established and Ratcliffe's team has made all the right noises: the Grenadier's off-road bias will not be softened for on-road comfort - the idea is obviously for it to be as loud and as granular and as charismatic as the car it seeks to spiritually replace. As statements of early intent go, it's an encouraging one.