Land Rover builds one-off Defender to carry rugby world cup
The off-roader took 6,000 hours to design and build.
Jaguar - Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations team has built a one-off Defender that will take the Webb Ellis Cup - the trophy given to the winner of the Rugby World Cup - on an epic 100-day tour of England and Ireland.
Starting with a long-wheelbase Defender 110, Land Rover engineers cut out the sheet metal between the C- and D-pillars and replaced it with a one-of-a-kind trophy case. A purpose-designed tablet application lets the driver lock and unlock the cabinet, control the lighting and ensure the temperature inside remains at precisely 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which eliminates fogging.
The Defender will be able to tackle any obstacle it encounters during its 9,000-mile tour thanks to a winch on the front bumper, aluminum skid plates, a modified air intake, roof-mounted spot lights and 16-inch off-road tires. Other modifications include the addition of side and rear steps and an expedition rack. All told, the off-roader took nearly 6,000 hours to design and build.
Land Rover has not made any mechanical modifications, meaning the Defender is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that makes 120 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 265 lb-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. The oil-burner is bolted to a six-speed manual transmission that spins all four wheels.
The Defender will kick off its tour of England and Ireland on June 10th and it will show up at no less than 300 events over the course of the summer. The tour will end on September 18th, but the off-roader will continue to transport the Webb Ellis Cup from game to game during this year's Rugby World Cup.