What’s the Story?
With a name like Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (Spectre), only a sinister fleet of black Land Rovers will do for chasing down that British special agent who refuses to roll over and die. And, when those vehicles are made even tougher, meaner and more unstoppable for a high-speed blast through the Austrian Alps, you’ve got a recipe for a cinema full of hooked Land Rover nuts.
When EON Productions’ 24th James Bond film hit the big screen in autumn 2015, it was the promise of some hardcore Land Rover action that had Team LRO grabbing the popcorn. Then we started trying to work out where all the mods came from…
Although you only see two Defenders on screen at any one time in Spectre, Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team supplied 10 modified Defender 110s (complete with SVX badging), plus seven Range Rover Sport SVRs. Land Rover is particularly proud of the fact that they’re mostly made of bits you can buy too, not that they’ll tell you exactly what they are, or who supplied them, if not from your local Land Rover main dealer. That’s where we come in.
Our interrogation techniques stop short of drilling skulls, but thankfully we know our Defender mods, so when we had the opportunity to give the vehicles a good going over at a top-secret test facility (Longcross Studios, just off the B386, near Chertsey, Surrey), we got there quicker than a round from a Walther PPK.
Our Favourite Bit?
The stunt team used a wide range of different tyres on set on the Range Rover, depending on the conditions, but super-wide 305/40R22 Cooper Zeon LTZs are fitted to all-black finished SVR wheels for the beauty shots.
The SVR usually wears 275/45 R21 Pirelli Scorpion Verde M+S rubber or optional 295/40 R22 Continental ContiSportContact 5 summer tyres. The most obvious modification is the blinding light bar set into a bespoke roofmounted pod. That’s a 40-inch 80-LED Aurora item – around £400, from Devon 4x4.
Tucked behind the lower radiator grille are two Aurora 6-inch S-Series single-row LED light bars (about £200 each). That’s all you need to complete the set!
Seven Range Rover Sport SVRs were also built for filming Spectre, some with roll cages, some without; although in true movie style, not all are what they seem. This one, for example, is a regular Supercharged dressed up to look like an SVR – it’s got the
body kit, the seats, the wheels… but there’s a less feral noise from the quad exhausts, no stealth button, or SVR dash graphics.
And the Verdict from LRO?
So, how do they drive? You’ll feel even more invincible than normal in the Defender, towering over other 110s as the turbo whooshes and ‘Treps’ howl. The Range Rover may not be a 'real' SVR, but it still feels truly incredible – we can see why Blofeld has a soft spot for these awe-inspiring vehicles.
Turn your Defender into a Spectre Land Rover:
This feature appeared in the February 2016 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.