The Defender Trophy Edition, a limited edition specially-wrapped vehicle that comes with access to the Defender Trophy competition, is back for 2023. This year, it’s a Defender 130 model, and the Camel Trophy-esque yellow wrap has given way to a sleek black-and-gold topographical map aesthetic.
Defender Trophy launched in 2021, with Defender 110 models that were visual ringers for classic Camel Trophy vehicles. The first competition was held at the Land Rover Experience off-road center at The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. The winners got to go to the international competition, held at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, England. There, they competed in classical Defender 110s equipped with V8 engines by Land Rover Classic; their competition was the non-North American owners of those too-hot-for-the-USA vehicles. In 2022, the theme continued, with Defender 90s in a yellow-and-white scheme, with the initial event held at the Land Rover Experience at The Equinox in Vermont and a final event at the Tawny Hotel in Staffordshire, England against global owners of snow-camouflaged Defender 110 Works V8s.
For 2023, there are no international Works V8 vehicles and no international competition – Defender Trophy is, for now at least, solely a North American thing. With no global final competition to feed into, the winners instead get a four-day adventure travel experience in Namibia, driving Defenders around the country in a route that recalls the vehicle’s early 2020 press launch.
The 2023 vehicle is based on the Defender 130 P400 SE, with the 6-cylinder mild-hybrid engine. They include a suite of options from the Defender accessory catalog, including the expedition roof rack, deployable side ladder, winch kit, mud flaps and body protection kit, front undershield, and rubber floor mats. In addition, each one comes with a Pelican roof box emblazoned with the new Defender Trophy logo. The vehicles have a subtle design aesthetic this year, with a topographical map on the doors and the new Defender Trophy logo on the hood blackout.
There will be 230 Trophy 130s, with most going to the United States and 10 destined for the Canadian market. Up to 90 two-person teams can compete in the event, on a first-come-first-served basis. The event will be held in the Austin, Texas area from October 29th to November 8th - part of a swing of Land Rover events in Texas this fall that also includes Destination Defender. At the event, there will be all sorts of off-road tasks and challenges, with the participants guided by Land Rover's off-road instructor team, which includes several Camel Trophy veterans.
The Defender Trophy Edition is available for order now from Land Rover dealers, with orders needed soon to participate in the event. Participants the past two years have had a ton of fun at the event, and it's a great way to see just how far you can push the new Defender.
Get the ROVERLOG Newsletter Delivered to your inbox
Sign up and receive once every 2 weeks