A new James Bond film is in the works, which means that iconic British brands are coming together to infuse the film with a healthy dose of Cool Britannia. As in the past few films, Land Rover will play a prominent role. No Time to Die will feature the New Defender's first film role.
Bond films have been about the cars and gadgets as much as the plot since a few films into the franchise. Land Rovers have featured heavily in the “Best of British” fleet since 1983, when a convertible Range Rover Classic was used in Octopussy. They’ve been particularly prevalent in the Daniel Craig era, with customized original Defenders playing starring roles in Skyfall and SPECTRE.
This time, though, it doesn’t seem like anyone On Her Majesty’s Secret Service will be driving the Land Rovers. They’re wearing Russian license plates, with a Moscow city code, so it looks like they'll be piloted by the baddies this time. These are the trucks that were leaked to the public in late August before the official launch of the Defender, via a cell phone shot from a (presumably fired) member of the film crew -- the first unveiled view we had of the truck.
The trucks are top-spec Defender X models, and they’re fully blacked out. Besides the Santorini Black paint, even the skidplates are darkened, and the 20-inch rims are black – all done in collaboration with the film’s producers. The vehicles were some of the first to roll off the line at the Nitra, Slovakia plant where Defenders and Discovery 5s are built.
No Time to Die will also feature a Series III, a Range Rover Sport SVR, and a Range Rover Classic. Daniel Craig was seen driving the Series III during filming in Jamaica in the spring. Supposedly, Bond has retired to Jamaica after the battle at the end of Spectre, appropriate as Ian Fleming wrote all twelve of the Bond books at his Goldeneye estate in the country.
The trucks are beat up in the stunt filming, but not excessively battered, considering what they’ve been through. It bodes well as an early test of the new Defender’s durability. Engineers have said that it’s designed to be driven fast and comfortably in off-road situations (where it’s safe and responsible, of course), and these stunts seem to prove that.
The film clip shows stunt drivers Lee Morrison and Jess Hawkins piloting the Defenders, and commenting on the vehicles’ prowess while tormenting them on set.
The Defender from the film can be seen at the Los Angeles Auto Show, from November 22nd to December 1st.
No Time to Die hits theatres in the United States on April 8, 2020, with a traditional earlier release in Britain on April 2nd.
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