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Driving the 400bhp Land Rover Defender from the new James Bond film

Driving the 400bhp Land Rover Defender from the new James Bond film

By 26-10-2020


Land Rover showcases the Defenders capability in latest James Bond Film

New Land Rover Defender advert showcases rugged capabilities

Unless you’ve been living under a stone, there’s a good chance you’ve seen that Land Rover Defender advert. You know the one. It features four-wheel-drives diving through the air, ploughing headfirst through rivers and rolling end over end, only to emerge virtually unscathed. 

If a manufacturer ever needed a way of truly showcasing how rugged their cars can be, ensuring they’re used in stunt work for an upcoming James Bond film is a good way to do it. And that’s just what Land Rover has done with its latest Defender!

bond car interior

While little is known about the cars full role in the film - apart from that it seems that they’ll be piloted by the ‘baddies’ - the Defender 110 cars used in the No Time To Die film were some of the first to roll off the production line. One of the star cars even featured a VIN number of 007, and that’s one of the cars that we’ve been allowed to drive today. However, despite our initial excitement, we’re hustled towards car 004. 

Luckily, we’ve got stunt driver Jess Hawkins to get us through the next bit of the experience. Despite needing a booster seat to see over the dash, 25-year-old Hawkins has a peerless reputation on the racing circuit and is a dab-hand at off-road work too. 

bond car 2020 land rover defender

She was also one of the drivers behind the wheel of the Defenders which starred in that advert. Hawkins admitted to being taken aback at how large the jump was, to begin with, but kept going for it again and again. 

The Defenders might look largely normal from the outside, but they’ve been extensively modified inside. There’s a chunky roll cage, while much of the cabin has been stripped out too. Getting in is less than dignified, as you have to step through the roll cage and basically ‘fall’ into the seat before strapping into the five-point harness. 

And though we’re not ploughing through the Russian wilderness as is the case in the film, the churned up terrain of rural Warwickshire makes for a fitting replacement. 

new bond car 2020 land rover defender

Upon acceleration, the tyres scrabble for grip while attempting to put 400bhp through to the ground. The air suspension is exactly the same as you’ll find in the road car, so unlike a lot of off-road conversions, the Defender is comfortable as well as capable. 

With Jess’s enthusiastic instruction, we’re soon making progress. Though initial attempts prove futile, soon we’re lifting off the throttle to get the car turned in, with the odd drift coming into play too. That said, we’re no way near the levels of the advert’s cars and drivers. 

It’s over far too soon, but it was enough time in the saddle to leave a lasting impression of both the car and how impressive the drivers’ skills were to keep them going under hugely difficult conditions. 

Land Rover Defender Review of the Land Rover Defender

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