Who still wants a Spectre-spec 007 villain Defender? | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear

Who still wants a Spectre-spec 007 villain Defender?

Anyone? Well the Americans will build you one. With a 525bhp V8

Published: 05 Sep 2019

There’s a new Land Rover Defender coming out very soon. Hadn’t you heard? There’s also a new James Bond film being made. It’s called No Time To Die. But what if you HATE all new things? Perhaps you'd prefer a tuned-but-old Land Rover Defender as seen in the last 007 film, Spectre

Then you’ll want to give Himalaya a call. On the other end of the line in Charleston South Carolina, they’ll set to work turning a UK-imported crew-cab and reinforced frame into this ultimate Spectre tribute.

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Now, it’s not cheap. Custom builds start at $165k (£133k) and for a full-blown Bond-ified example, you’re talking a cool $250,000 ($200,000). So you’ll be hoping for a bit more than just a pick-up Defender with some big ol’ balloon tyres underneath.

To be fair, you get a lot more than just marshmallow wheels. The 37-inch Toyo all-terrain rubber is accommodated by a four-inch lift supported by reinforced adjustable suspension. The brakes are beefier, with a Wilwood system as standard and Brembo brakes soon on the option list. And you get a rebuilt GM six-speed automatic gearbox thrown in.

No manual? Well you’ll prefer to keep both hands on the wheel when you consider the engine of choice: a 6.2-litre Chevrolet LS3 V8 developing 525bhp and 495lb ft. Not enough? Have it supercharged instead. Too much? There’s also a 2.8-litre diesel for caring, eco-minded-but-dastardly Bond nemesis-types. And a roll cage inside for when 007 wins the day by punting you into a ravine.

Now we’re not saying Himalaya is having a cheeky pop at Land Rover’s build quality, but listen to this: “The bodywork is where the Himalaya Spectre really excels. Because the company starts with an all-new frame that is precision-manufactured to be perfectly square, body-panel tolerances can be made significantly more consistent than original factory.

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"Himalaya goes the extra step of designing and manufacturing their own handles, latches, and catches to exude the highest quality. Liberal amounts of Dynamat sound-deadening insulation and improved door sealing were also used to further assist in providing a more comfortable cabin experience.”

So basically, as well as turning your Defender into a V8 monster truck, Himalaya has also sorted out the shoddy panel fit. So it won’t leak. Hopefully the all-new Defender won’t this time either.

Stay tuned to see which you prefer...

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