Land Rover might not be as closely linked with the James Bond film franchise as much as Aston Martin, but a fair number of the automaker’s vehicles have starred alongside the world’s most famous spy over the years—starting with the Range Rover Rapport Huntsman in 1983’s “Octopussy.”
In recognition of this, Land Rover will provide James Bond stunt driver and talented rally driver Mark Higgins with a special Defender 90 to pilot in a round of the Bowler Defender Challenge one-make race series to mark this year’s 60th anniversary of the film franchise. The round will be the North Wales leg, scheduled for March 26.
The special Defender will feature a livery highlighting the 60th anniversary and listing all 25 titles that make up the franchise. It will also feature some competition modifications, including a roll cage, sports exhaust, and enhanced cooling for the powertrain, in this case the P300 grade’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 good for 296 hp.
We should point out that Land Rovers have also been essential for the franchise behind the camera, such as transporting equipment or serving as camera cars.
“The Defender is a tough and capable vehicle when it leaves the production line and I’ve seen it perform really challenging stunts while on the set,” Higgins, who handled some of the stunt driving duties for the most recent “No Time to Die” title, said in a statement.
Land Rover has previously marked its association with the James Bond franchise. Last year it launched a No Time to Die special edition based on the Defender’s V-8 grade.