007 puts the Land Rover Defender through its toughest test yet
This is only a very brief video, but it gives us hope that not only is the upcoming new James Bond movie going to have some excellent cars stunts, but also that the new Land Rover Defender is going to be absolutely epic off road.
Neither of those things were ever particularly in doubt, mind you, but it is nice to have confirmation from this short behind-the-sceens look from Land Rover on the set of No Time to Die - the 25th Bond flick - that has been filming for the last year or so.
Land Rover says No Time To Die is the first movie to feature the New Defender, and that has "been tested by the 007 expert stunt team in the most extreme off-road conditions, demonstrating its unstoppable nature", which the video certainly seems to confirm.
In it stunt co-ordinator Lee Morrison and stunt driver Jess Hawkins utterly thrash the Defenders across what would appear to be British countryside, with plenty of jumps and even a few roll-overs for good measure.
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"Designing and co-ordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset. We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender," said Morrison.
"I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"
Hawkins probably sums it up best though when she joyously exclaims "I'd do this every day if I could!" as she pounds the Defender mercilessly across the undulating muddy fields.
The New Defender is a very capable off road beast on paper, with ground clearance of 291mm, approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively an a maximum wading depth of 900mm.
Land Rover says its design team worked closely with special effects and vehicle supervisor Chris Corbould on the specification of the Defenders in the film.
Based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels and off-road tyres, they were the first Defenders to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.
While Aston Martin has the most famous car association with Bond, Land Rover has a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, which began in 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in Octopussy.
Alongside the Defenders, No Time To Die also features the Range Rover Sport SVR, Series III Land Rover and Range Rover Classic.
Although it isn't due to arrive in New Zealand until May next year, the new Defender is already proving popular, with more than 70 Kiwis making a first instalment payment to secure one.