James Bond and Land Rover have certain things like class and unmatched capabilities in common. Perhaps that’s why the Land Rover Defender is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the James Bond 007 franchise.
The Land Rover Defender celebrates James Bond
There is a special edition of the Land Rover Defender that’s shaken, not stirred. Alright, we will do our best to stay away from corny James Bond 007 related jokes and puns. We’re just pretty excited to see the Bond-themed off-roader.
Best of all, the special Defender isn’t just for show. According to Motor Trend, it will participate in the 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge at the end of the month. Mark Higgens, the 007 strunt driver, will be behind the wheel.
So, the 007 Defender gets to live up to its name with an experienced Bond driver! Claire Williams, former deputy team principal of the Williams F1 team, will help Higgens prepare for the rally.
Higgens has an impressive background as a three-time British Rally Champion, plus he has been a stunt driver in four Bond movies. You may have seen him driving in Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre, and No Time to Die.
How is the Bond Defender prepared for the rally?
Just like James Bond, the 007 Land Rover Defender features sophisticated styling. It has black and gold stickers with the 007 60th logo on the roof and sides. Each of the 25 James Bond film titles are listed on the hood and tailgate.
Land Rover vehicles have been featured in the 007 films for about 40 years. Dr.No, the first 007 movie, was released on October 5, 1962, and Land Rover is a proud British partner.
The Defender is equipped with a full roll cage, enhanced engine and transmission cooling, a sports exhaust, and a new rear roof spoiler to dominate the rally.
Plus, the Bond Defender rides on enhanced 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and a unique suspension design. The subframe is modified and features new springs for increased stiffness.
The Bowler Defender Challenge will take place across the UK. It’s a feeder series for global rally-raid competitions like the Dakar. The Bond Defender will only race in North Wales on March 26.
How much power does the Bond Defender have?
The James Bond 007 Land Rover Defender 90 is equipped with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of power. This is pretty stout, but it’s only the entry-level engine.
We wonder why the Bond Defender doesn’t have the 5.0-liter V8 engine with 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, the Defender can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.9 seconds. It has a top speed of 149 mph!
The optional 3.0-liter V6 engine provides 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. We’re sure Land Rover has its reasons for using the standard engine. The rally will be fun to watch either way.
We will try not to see other competitors as evil Bond villains that need to be taken out to save the world! Also, we will keep you updated on the rally results and where the Bond Defender travels next.