Land Rover reveals bespoke Defender to mark the Rugby World Cup

  • AFP
  • Updated: May 25, 2015 15:16 IST

Land Rover has converted its iconic Defender off-roaders into a unique mobile display case for the Webb Ellis Cup, the trophy that will be presented to the winning team at this year's Rugby World Cup.

Built by the company's Special Vehicle Operations division, the car is based on a standard Defender 110 station wagon but has a host of unique touches, the biggest of which is the integration of a bespoke trophy cabinet in the rear.

Formed from anti-glare toughened security glass, the cabinet has its own climate control and lighting system and also features a built-in 40-inch Toshiba television set that will screen memorable moments from Rugby World Cups past.

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The cabinet's temperature, strength of illumination and the status of the special locking mechanism, plus what's being displayed on the TV at any moment are all managed by an equally bespoke app, which can be controlled via a Toshiba tablet in the cabin. Being able to maintain a constant temperature is crucial to maintaining the trophy and to prevent the cabinet from fogging up.

Other special touches include an interior clad in black Windsor Leather with contrasting gold stitching and embroidered Rugby World Cup logos, an exterior kitted out with special side and rear steps, a front-mounted winch, directional roof mounted spotlights, and a snorkel for increasing the car's wading depth.

The car will be used to transport the trophy on a 100-day, 300-venue tour of the UK and Ireland ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup's opening game on September 18. Once the tournament gets underway, the Land Rover will be used to transport the trophy from match to match -- the World Cup is being played at 31 stadia around the UK.

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The exercise is also the latest in a growing number of special events and specially designed vehicles organized or created to mark the Defender's passing. The original SUV and in constant, almost unaltered production since 1948, the Land Rover will be bowing out at the end of 2015 after 67 years in production. An all-new, modern take on the Defender is currently in development but isn't expected to debut until 2017.

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