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.

The Land Rover Defender stars alongside Daniel Craig in Bond 25.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Most people are guilty of fast forwarding through commercials on their DVR to get to the good stuff. James Bond doesn't have time to waste, and neither do you. A new Land Rover ad for the 2020 Defender will give you good reason to watch again and again - unless you don't care for heart thumping, blood pumping off-roading chase scenes.

Set up as a peek behind the scenes at the 25th James Bond film "No Time to Die", the spot takes audiences through an audacious test run of the Bond scenes, complete with mud, much, hills, motorcycles, and a rollover. It's at least as thrilling as it sounds.

2020 Land ROver Defender stunt No Time to Die James Bond 25 The new spot features a myriad of stunts that will get viewers' hearts thumping.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"We developed a new test standard for Defender, the most challenging we've ever had and unique to this vehicle," said Nick Collins, Land Rover Defender vehicle line director "Physical strength and durability is measured by a number of different tests including a bridge jump test which gave us confidence to deliver what the stunt team needed to create for "No Time To Die", with no modifications to the body structure except the installation of a roll cage."

Defender's off-road prowess should be of no surprise to off-roading enthusiasts. Land Rover is known for their competent powertrains and go-anywhere capability. The new Defender was tested by Red Cross all-terrain experts during development to ensure its readiness for all types of terrain.

Land Rover recently allowed brand and Bond enthusiasts a peek behind the scenes of Bond 25 when they debuted still imagery of their models in the film and highlighted the work of stunt coordinator Lee Morrison and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins.

Jessica Hawkins Land Rover Defender No Time to Die James Bond Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'. Photo courtesy of Land Rover

In the movie, the Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Ten Defenders were used in the making of "No Time To Die" including the seventh Defender built VIN 007.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

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"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

Learn more about the Defender's development and design here.

The two modems will allow users to simultaneously use the navigaton system while updating their system over the air.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The 2020 Land Rover Defender will include the world's first dual-modem, dual eSIM design, which will allow owners to simultaneously download system updates over the air while streaming music or using apps. Most vehicle systems currently disable streaming functionality while the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates are happening, often disabling functionality for an extended period of time.

Land Rover's new Pivi Pro infotainment system shares electronic hardware with the latest smartphones. Using its two embedded LTE modems, the Defender can update 16 modules remotely using cloud-based technology from CloudCar in the background without effecting day-to-day connectivity for the user.

Pivi Pro infotainment system Land Rover Defender 2020 Over 45 modules will be SOTA capable in the new Defender by the end of 2021.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"With one LTE modem and eSIM dedicated to the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology and the same set-up looking after music streaming and apps, New Defender has the digital capacity to keep customers connected, updated and entertained at all times anywhere in the world," said Peter Virk, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, Jaguar Land Rover. "You could liken the design to a brain, with each half enjoying its own connection for unrivalled and uninterrupted service. Like the brain, one side of the system looks after logical functions, like SOTA, while the other takes care of more creative tasks."

The SUV's infotainment system is equipped with its own battery allowing it to be "always on" and able to respond immediately upon vehicle startup. This functionality allows the navigation system to be ready to accept a new destination immediately upon the driver entering the vehicle. Because of the dual-modem set-up, even the navigation system can be accessed during updates.

The Defender's 10-inch high-resolution infotainment touchscreen can also connect to two mobile devices at once via Bluetooth.

Land Rover initially announced that the Defender would have 14 modules that were SOTA capable. This new announcement of 16 is another step toward the more than 45 the company projects will be available by the end of 2021, eliminating the need for customers to visit their dealership to receive any software updates.