Off-Roading

Land Rover utilizing Red Cross all-terrain experts for Defender testing

Land Rover enlisted the help of the Red Cross to test the 2020 Land Rover Defender.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The Defender is coming back. Long a poorly kept secret, Land Rover gave enthusiasts a peek at the vehicle's development before the Land Rover Defender makes its way onto dealer lots.

The setting is Dubai and the drivers are members of the elite all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Surrounded by sand dunes and the twisty tarmac of Jebel Jais highway, Dubai is a playground for off-road enthusiasts who also want to check out their vehicle's on-road prowess.

That's exactly what the IFRC drivers did.

2020 Land Rover Defender

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover worked with IFRC drivers as a part of Defender development.

IFRC fleet drivers piloted the 4x4s over soft sand dunes, climbing steep ascents, pitching down side slopes, and conquering blind crests. This is similar testing to what was conducted by Rolls-Royce during development of their SUV, the Cullinan.

As temperatures climbed over 100 degrees, the drivers took to the 12 miles of hairpin turns of the Jebel Jais highway climbing to over 6,500-feet of elevation up to the top of Jebel Yibir mountain, the tallest point in the United Arab Emirates.

The new Defender has already undergone over 745,000 miles of testing as part of its development.

Land Rover debuted the 2020 Land Rover Defender at the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier this year.

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Special edition Land Rover

Special Land Rover Defender stars in new James Bond film

The special Defender features several 007-inspired touches.

Land Rover

James Bond and British vehicles go together like bread and butter. The spy's most well-known rides come from Aston Martin, but Land Rover isn't sitting out on the action. The 25th film in the Bond series, No Time To Die, premiers in just a few weeks, and with it, a new special edition Land Rover Defender. Land Rover's SV Bespoke division created the special Defender, which in addition to making an appearance on the silver screen, will be on sale for a limited run to 300 lucky Bond fans willing to shell out the cash.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The Defender gets exclusive infotainment animations.Land Rover


The villainous Defender is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and Land Rover says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty off-roader to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.1 seconds. The V8 is a recent addition to the Defender line, and comes paired here with unique suspension and transmission tuning, bespoke spring and damper rates, and a new electronic active rear differential.



2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The 007 Defender V8 get special puddle lights.Land Rover


Unique touches to the 007 Defender include "Defender 007" treadplates, special infotainment animations, and "007" exterior puddle lamps. The interior will get a laser-etched detail plate to denote its number among the 300 vehicles. No Time To Die will feature the Defender front and center, but it's not the only Land Rover in the film. Two Range Rover Sport SVR SUVs will also make an appearance, along with a Range Rover Classic and a Land Rover Series III.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition You'll need to be really into Bond to truly appreciate the special Defender.Land Rover


If you're more interested in seeing the Defender's time on screen than you are in getting behind the wheel, it hits theaters in the U.S. starting on October 8, 2021. The film will be the fifth and final movie to feature Daniel Craig as Bond. However, if you're really excited about the Defender, get ready to pay up. Prices start at $114,600 and supplies are extremely limited.

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Heritage Customs offers a bespoke take on the vintage Land Rover Defender.

Photo courtesy of Heritage Customs

The Land Rover Defender's body style is iconic. The most desirable boxy, utilitarian Defenders are two generations old, right before the Defender mutated into a model that looked like an old version bred with a London's black cab. It's these models that create the basis for the new Heritage Customs handcrafted luxury take on the Defender, called the Vintage.

Heritage Customs was co-founded by car designer Niels van Roij, who recently described the customization process:

"This likeable Dutch Vintage commission features a rich, soft green metallic paint. It feels right at home next to the Heather flowers in the forest as well as on the pebble stones next to the patron's striking monumental villa. For this Heritage Customs Vintage we selected our bespoke milled aluminium side- and bonnet vents whilst non-automotive tan Nubuck leather was applied to trim the seats, dashboard as well as rear benches."

Heritage Customs Vintage: Exterior

Photo courtesy of of Heritage Customs

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Each auto has a teak wooden cargo floor with white rubber inlays, There's a Marshall speaker integrated into the cubby box. A hand-stitched tan canvas hood complements the interior color scheme while a wooden steering wheel replaces the traditional standard plastic unit. The SUV's center stack has been color-coded to the body and has metal switchgear on its fascia.

Distinctive aluminum details and color-coded extra wide steel wheels create a hardier looking luxury SUV in the example shown. A section of Heritage Customs-specific wheels are available.

Heritage Customs Vintage: Interior

Photo courtesy of of Heritage Customs

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Customers are also able to select the bumper design of their choosing, whether it's a simple, clean unit or one of the custom made bumpers and side steps that Heritage Customs Vintage offers.

LED lights on all four corners complete the package.

The price of a Heritage Customs Vintage SUV start at €40,000, excluding taxes, depending on the preferred base vehicle and individual customer requirements. All Heritage Customs projects are 100-percent tailor-made and start out with sketches, based on conversations with the future owners.

The design and construction process takes about 1.5 months. Watch the video below to see how the undertaking occurs.

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