2019 Land Rover Defender Spectre by Himalaya
This is what happens when a good SUV goes rogue… and we like it!by Sidd Dhimaan, on
Land Rover launched the all-new 2020 Defender a couple of days back, and the SUV has it has been the talk of the internet ever since. In fact, the hype is so extensive that even aftermarket company. If you remember, the new Defender was spotted without clothes for the first time on the movie set of the upcoming James Bond movie “No Time To Die” just about a week before the official launch. As it turns out, South Carolina based Himalaya decided to customize this Defender, taking inspiration from another previous Bond movie, Spectre, and even gave it the same name. Does it look exciting? Well, you tell us.
2019 Land Rover Defender Spectre by Himalaya
- Bullbar on the face
- Heavy-duty Warn Zeon 10S winch
- Fog Lights
- Flared fenders
- 18-inch gloss black wheels
- 37-inch Toyo tires
- Auxiliary LED off-road lights
- Jeep-sourced Poison Spyder rear bumper
On the onset, the Defender Spectre looks huge and bulky. It is based on the crew cab pickup configuration. And, let me start off by saying that it does not bear any resemblance whatsoever to the new Defender. First off, the Spectre makes use of body panels and frames sourced from England. Each of these frames is reinforced and galvanized to fend off the corrosion.
Up front, it features a black plastic bull bar with ‘Defender’ embossed on it.
The round headlights are retained as is, but a black covering is installed that surrounds the headlights.
The turn signal indicators are also placed next to the headlights. The bottom part of the grille is slapped with a heavy-duty Warn Zeon 10S winch, and below that is an underbody skid plate. Since the truck does not come with a bumper per se, it boasts an excellent approach angle. As for the hood, it features an extra component that acts as a power bulge of sorts.
The side profile looks like a typical military truck. The truck rides on 18-inch Sawtooth Alloy gloss black wheels wrapped in 37-inch Toyo Open Country tires. To accommodate these huge tires, the tuner adds flared wheel arches as well. The frame dominates the windshield area and extends all the way to the sides and the end of the truck bed. To add more lighting, Himalaya has installed four auxiliary lights on the roof that brighten up the roads in the front. The doors come with custom handles, whereas the manually adjustable rearview mirror pops out of the A-pillar. Himalaya is also offering this truck with Amp Research retracting power steps.
Move to the back, and you’ll realize that the Defender Spectre looks like a monster.
The taillights are retro units, circular and small in size, and one on each side for the brakes, turn signal, and reverse. There is no Defender branding anywhere here. The funkiest aspect here is the custom made bed mount tire carrier that carries the huge spare tire. It adds a lot of character to the overall appearance of the truck. The Poison Spyder rear bumper is sourced from Jeep and comes with two tow hooks as well. Overall, Himalaya has done a great job to recreate the Bond villain’s truck!
- Recaro seats
- Ruskin leather upholstery
- Alcantara headliner
- Momo steering wheel
- Dakota digital gauges
- Exmoor interior LED lighting
- Alpine touchscreen infotainment system
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible
- Heated seats
- Safety Devises Exo-cage
On the inside, you wouldn’t expect much from a truck of this magnitude. But, Himalaya has offered some fancy stuff in here. The upholstery is made of Ruskin leather and Alcantara. The Recaro seats are supremely comfortable and befitting in a vehicle like this. The instrument cluster features Dakota Digital gauges, and the stock steering wheel is swapped with a Momo unit. The cabin looks lively, thanks to Exmoor interior LED lighting. For you audiophiles, Himalaya has equipped the Spectre with a JL Audio speaker mated to an Alpine HALO touchscreen head unit. It supports Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay as well.
The tuner also designs and manufactures its own handles and latches, and those are featured in here as well. This offers perfect quality and fitment.
For some reason, Himalaya thought it would be good to make the Defender Spectre quiet on the inside. The off-roader comes with Dynamat sound-deadening insulation and heavy-duty door seals all around to keep the noise outside the truck. In my opinion, this was certainly not required as the engine has a brilliant sound to it and you would like to hear every grunt it makes, whether you’re driving on the roads or off them. To take care in case of a rollover, the truck comes with a Safety Devices exo-cage installed. Other stuff here includes Rear Back-Up Camera, Power Windows, LED Markers, Front Heated Seats, LED Offroad Lights, Window Tint.
- 6.2-liter, LS3 V-8 engine
- 525 Horsepower
- 495 pound-feet of torque
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Holley Electronic Fuel Injection system
- Wilwood brakes
- Custom radiators and consoles to fit the transmission
- Cummins R2.8 Turbodiesel engine on offer
- Four-inch liftkit
- Fox Racing remote-reservoir shocks
The aftermarket company brings in the biggest changes under the hood. The stock truck was powered by a 3.9-liter, V-8 engine that made 182 horses. It was a 1961-Designed Buick/Rover mill. Himalaya, however, decided to swap with more dynamic and engaging mills. You read that right; mills. The Spectre comes with an array of engine options for you to choose from.
The default swapped-engine is a GM-sourced 6.2-liter, LS3 engine that makes 525 horses and 495 pound-feet of torque.
The company had troubles cooling this engine in the stock bay, so it decided to plonk in custom radiators that would help overcome this hurdle. Custom consoles were also built to accommodate the six-speed automatic transmission, again from GM, along with an all-wheel-drive transfer case. The engine also comes with a Holley Electronic Fuel Injection system for optimum power delivery and fuel efficiency, Hooker headers, stainless exhaust, and an aluminum radiator with electric fans.
The other engines on offer include a Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel and a Whipple-supercharged LS3.
The latter is basically the same as the LS3 6.2-liter engine, but with a supercharger. The decision to mate the engine to a supercharger was made after positioning and fitting the engine in the bay. The steering is handles by a Jeep Wrangler JK steering box with a custom linkage for increased precision and better feedback. The braking duties, on the other hand, are taken over by Wilwood, although the future products could come with Brembo discs all around. Since the truck comes with 37-inch tires, it had to be lifted to even fit them there. The Defender Spectre is lifted four-inches and retrofitted with custom coil springs, Fox Racing remote-reservoir shocks, and one-off control arms sourced from Currie Enterprises.
Even though it’s a replica on the onset, the Defender Spectre is an expensive offering.
The truck begins at $165,000 for the base model, and goes all the way up to $250,000.
To put things in perspective, the new Land Rover Defender starts at $51,000.
The Defender Spectre looks fantastic, and if you are a Daniel Craig fan, I’m sure you’ll have your eyes set on it. The $250,000 tag seems a little too steep, but if you look at the Spectre’s aura and peep into the engine bay, you’ll know this truck is special. Personally, I like the intimidating looks, but the engine options are what pull me towards it. For those concerned about this product, Himalaya says that the engine and transmission come with a 24,000-mile/ two-year warranty.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Land Rover Defender SVR.
Read our full review on the 2011 Land Rover DC100 Concept.
Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Defender.