How durable is Land Rover’s new £40,000 Defender?
A new television advert launching next month shows it being hurtled off ramps, careering through rivers and even being driven away immediately after flipping onto its roof and sustaining substantial damage – as the British car maker is shown pushing it to its limits in a number of ‘uncompromising’ scenarios.
Bosses at the British car maker said the footage – shot on set of the new No Time To Die James Bond film – shows the physical strength and durability of the 4×4, which is measured by a number of different assessments including a bridge jump test.
The clip ends with the car leaping out of a small wooded area. The advert shows the 4X4 landing on its front end and roof, causing substantial damage
The Defender continues to roll and lands back on all four wheels. And despite the obvious battle scars from the incident, the driver immediately motors away from the scene
The one-minute advert will start to appear on UK channels from Thursday (20 March) as Land Rover continues to drum-up interest in the 4×4 that replaces a 71-year-old icon.
The SUV-maker says the commercial is designed to demonstrate the new Defender’s capability on tough terrain and showcase the extreme tests the vehicle has been put through before being made available to the public to buy.
The commercial also provides an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at what to expect from the 4×4 when it debuts in the latest Bond flick, out on 3 April.
Land Rover says the clips used for the ad are ‘rehearsal footage’, that we assume won’t be used in the film itself.
That’s not to say the videos aren’t big-screen worthy.
Without the use of special effects, you can watch the new Defender launching into the air, driving at high speed through swamps and rumbling through shallow stream strewn with rocks as part of a chase scene that will feature in the next 007 movie.
The footage shows a selection of Land Rover Defender 110s leaping through the air while in pursuit by a number of Truimph motorcycles
The Defenders are seen taking on muddy boys, shallow rivers and rock-strewn streams as part of the James Bond, No Time To Die, filming
A rider on a Triumph Scrambler attempts to keep pack with the Defenders as they bounce through a difficult field terrain
The footage is captured on ultra-expensive camera rig used to track one of the full-blooded chase scenes for the new 007 movie
The advert ends with one of the 4×4 being rolled onto its roof as it leaps out from wooded area. And despite sustaining a lot of front-end damage from the incident, the one-minute clip concludes with the car immediately driving away after the shunt.
Land Rover Defender: Will it fit in my garage?
Price: from about £40,000
Seats: 5 or 6 (with front middle ‘jump seat’ for three-abreast travel)
Length: 4323mm (without spare wheel) /4583 (with spare wheel)
Width: 2008mm (mirrors folded) / 2105mm (mirrors out)
Height: 1969mm (air suspension) / 1974mm (coil spring)
Ground clearance: up to 291mm
Towing capability: 3,500kg
Engines: Four variants at launch;
Diesel: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder diesel (in 200HP and 240HP variants)
Petrol: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder petrol (300HP), new 3.0-litre straight 6-cylinder petrol (400HP with mild hybrid)
Plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV): To follow next year
Transmission: Permanent all-wheel drive 8-speed automatic .
Fuel consumption (depending on variant): from 29.4 to 37.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 199g/km to 219g/km
Top speed: from 109mph to 129mph
0-60mph: from 6 seconds to 9.6 seconds
0-62mph: from 6.3 seconds to 10.2 seconds
Wheels: 18, 19, 20 and 22 inch
Wading depth: 900mm (aided by first ‘wade’ programme)
Price: from £45,240
Length: 4,758mm (5,018mm with spare wheel)
Width: 2,008mm (door mirrors folded)
Maximum roof load: 300kg static/ 168kg moving
Wading depth: 900mm
The dramatic sequence in No Time To Die was led by stunt coordinator, Lee Morrison, working alongside Oscar winner and special effects, action vehicles supervisor Chris Corbould.
Speaking about the footage, Lee Morrison said: ‘We pushed the Defender further than we believed possible to generate the maximum excitement, and to give fans an insight into the uncompromising challenge of producing an incredible chase sequence which you can look forward to seeing in No Time To Die.’
In order for this to be done, Nick Collins, vehicle line director at Land Rover, said the Defender first had to be subject to a number of assessments to ensure it was up to the jaw-dropping scenes it had been chosen for.
‘We developed a new test standard for Defender, the most challenging we’ve ever had and unique to this vehicle,’ he explained.
‘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.’
The new Defender is due to be on sale in the summer, with prices starting from £40,000 for the three-door Defender 90 model. A five-door Defender 110 will also be available from £45,240.
Both variants can be chosen in one of five trim levels: S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-of-the range Defender X, costing up to £78,800 without an optional extra (of which there are many).
The model used is the top-of-the-line Defender X 110.
A commercial van Defender will be available too, priced from £35,000 plus VAT.
The boxy and upright new off-roader promises the traditional go-anywhere ability to traverse deserts, mountains, rocky terrain, and Arctic ice.
It can paddle through rivers and streams to a depth of up to 900mm, aided by the car maker’s first electronic wade programme that’s been tested to the extreme.
In fact, the new Defender has been subject to 62,000 different tests over 744,000 miles in some of the world’s harshest climates from 50-degree desert heat to minus 40 degree Baltic conditions to ensure it is ready to take the iconic mantle – as well as the extreme measures deployed during James Bond filming.
Although a brand new vehicle, the new Defender has plenty of styling and practical cues which hark back to the original of 71 years ago, updated for modern lifestyles.
For instance, the modern version has durable rubberised flooring allowing the interior to be easily cleaned with a brush or a wipe. And a portable rinse-system to washout mud is also available.
A central ‘jump’ seat – like the one available in the original – also gives the option of having three seats up front.
It means the smaller Defender 90 can have up to six seats, while the larger four-door 110 can be specified as a five, six or seven-seater.
Also reflecting the design of the original are the tread-plates on the bonnet and the side-hinged rear tailgate and the option to have the spare wheel on the back.
At the wheel of the vehicles during the high-speed stunts is Jessica Hawkins, a Formula 3 W Series racer.
Commenting on her first appearance as a stunt driver in a film. she said: ‘It doesn’t get any more exhilarating than being a stunt driver in a James Bond movie and it’s an honour to be a part of this incredible movie driving the new Defender.’
It is the second time we’ve seen the Land Rover Defender in action on the Bond film set, with a the UK’s biggest car maker previewing some of the footage back in November (you can see the video below).
You can find out more about the Land Rover Defender in our full first look report.
How much can the Defender live up to offroad? This footage shows the cars nose-diving and leaping as they hit diverts in the field
One part of the footage shows a Defender being catapulted into the air as it hits a huge grass verge
Nick Collins from Land Rover said: ‘Physical strength and durability is measured by a number of different tests including a bridge jump test’
Land Rover features and technology at a glance
– Five trim levels: S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top-of-the range ‘Defender X’
– Front middle ‘jump seat’ for three-abreast travel (made possible by dashboard mounted ear-stick)
– Optional folding fabric roof, echoing original, gives an open-top feel and allows passengers I the second row of the 110 to stand up when parked.
– Durable rubberised flooring for easy brush or wipe clean
– Portable rinse-system to washout mud.
– Optional satin protective film ‘wrap’ to protect paint-work
– Six ‘curry hooks’ for carrying take-aways
– Tread-plates on top of bonnet reflect those on the original
– ‘Alpine lights’ – small upper windows allowing passengers to look up at mountains
– Exposed interior structural elements emphasise its industrial nature and simplicity
– Side-hinged rear tail-gate
– Exterior spare wheel on the back
– Lots of interior grab-handles
– ‘Side-saddle’ storage over side windows
– Gloss white steel rims wheel option, like original
– Storage space for two 2-litre bottles
– Four accessory packs: Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban
– Electric winch
– Roof-top tent
– Roof rack platform
– Specially designed side extendable ladder
– Tow bar
– Inflatable waterproof awning
– Bespoke air-intake snorkel
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