Sir Paul Smith is best known for designing fashionable menswear, having a reputation that spans nearly 40 years, but the Brit has just tried his hand at designing his own Land Rover Defender. Thanks to Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations branch, Smith has created his own one-off exterior color scheme and interior appointments in celebration of the Defender’s last year in production.

As it turns out, Smith is a Land Rover fan, having owned several throughout the years. His current Land Rover is also a defender and is parked at his Italian residence. “[The house] is in the middle of the countryside, so it’s the perfect vehicle to cope with the rugged terrain,” he says.

Smith is very right about the Defender’s abilities. Under that fancy paint job lies a hard-core off-roader with twin solid axles, all-terrain tires, a part-time 4WD system, and enough ground clearance to keep the body free of damage. While this Defender’s capabilities haven’t changed, there are plenty of other aspects that are completely new.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Land Rover Defender Paul Smith Edition.

  • Year:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Energy:
  • Displacement:
    2.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    14.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    90 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, 4WD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    80000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


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The leading headline of the Paul Smith Defender is its paintjob. Smith says he took inspiration from the British countryside as well as the colors historically seen on Defenders used by the military. Since there were a plethora of colors to choose from, Smith apparently chose them all. There are 27 different colors on the outside alone.

Special touches include a hand-painted bee on the roof and the wheels coated in satin black. And being a one-off vehicle, Smith included his signature under the rear Land Rover badge.


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As expected, the interior is also heavily revised. The normally utilitarian cabin has been dressed up with leather and hand-stitching for a far more luxurious feel. The seats are covered in leather with fabric inserts. Those inserts show off the same fabric material Smith designed for Maharam, an American upholstery company. Despite the fabric design being from anther project, it matches the Defender’s exterior pretty well.

The dashboard is treated to leather coverings with French stitching for a far more luxurious feel. Even the standard clock has been swapped out for a Paul Smith version. Yes, Smith has also designed clock faces.

Another special touch includes the hand-painted keychain and coins inside the center console.


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Nothing has hanged with the Defender’s greasy bits. Smith is a designer, not a gear head, after all. That means the Land Rover makes do with its 2.2-liter diesel four-cylinder that makes 120 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a part-time, two-speed transfer case.

Solid axles front and rear deliver power to all four wheels when the transfer case has engaged 4WD. Low range is also available for more extreme situations like steep hill climbs, deep mud, and rock crawling.


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Land Rover hasn’t listed any prices or costs for building this one-off piece of rolling artwork. However, count on it being rather expensive. Count on spending roughly £30,000, or $44,000 on just the Defender. Then tack on the cost of personalizing each exterior body panel and interior adornment. Land Rover does make it easy to do so through its SVO program, but spending money is an unspoken given. I’d suspect Smith’s Defender would cost around $80,000 to build, or roughly double the standard Defender price.


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The Paul Smith Defender is just one more example of Land Rover’s allegiance to paying homage to the Defender as it completes its last year of production. While this isn’t really a special edition or won’t turn into a limited production run, this personalized Defender represents how iconic the SUV is to the British. Why else would a clothing designer spend his time working on such a utilitarian vehicle?

Love or hate the design, you’ve got to admit it is different. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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    • 27 colors aren’t for everybody
    • Reminds us the Defender is going out of production

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Press Release

British designer, Sir Paul Smith has collaborated with Land Rover to create a bespoke Defender, which was revealed today at the designer’s shop at No. 9 Albemarle Street in Mayfair.

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A longstanding fan of the Land Rover Defender, Sir Paul Smith has owned several of the vehicles over the years. “The Defender is a British icon, which is something I’m exceptionally proud of,” says Paul. “I keep a Defender at my home in Italy which is in the middle of the countryside, so it’s the perfect vehicle to cope with the rugged terrain.”

Paul Smith worked closely with Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) design team – which is able to fulfil individual customer commissions and personalisation. Together they created a unique vehicle, built entirely to Paul Smith’s own specification. With guidance from Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern, he was able to realise his uniquely personal version of a global automotive icon.

The vehicle features 27 different colours used on the exterior panels, all of which were chosen by Sir Paul Smith. Taking inspiration from the British countryside, as well as colours historically seen on Defenders used by the Armed Forces, he says, “I wanted deep rich colours, but at the same time, I wanted them to work together yet be surprising.” In order to achieve the look he wanted, Paul gave the SVO team a set of Pantone colour references, which were then mixed specially for this vehicle.

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Further adding to the vehicle’s bespoke design, Paul worked with Land Rover to ensure that the interior stayed true to his vision. “This is a complete one-off; I wanted to give this Defender a feeling of luxury, so I used a mix of leather and fabric for the seats. I actually used the fabric that I design for Maharam, the American upholstery company. The vehicle features lots of special Paul Smith touches.

“Inside, black leather contrasts against blue stitching and there are lots of little hidden details throughout. For example, there is an image of a set of keys printed inside the glove compartment. Then there is a hand-painted bee on the roof, which is another little tongue-in-cheek reference to the countryside and the heritage of the car. Also, the traditional Defender clock has been replaced with a Paul Smith fascia. My designs are known for their attention to detail, so I didn’t want this Defender to be any different.”

While Paul has added many playful and personal touches, the Defender retains traditional elements, such as the wing mirrors, door handles and wheels - something that was of paramount importance to the designer. These were then given a satin finish, to create a contemporary feel.

Gerry McGovern, Design Director and Chief Creative Officer of Land Rover, adds: “I felt it would be a fitting tribute to the iconic Defender, that one of Britain’s most distinguished designers worked with the Land Rover team to recognise his creative vision.”

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This exclusive Defender joins together two icons from the British automotive and design industries and forms part of a year-long celebration of the famous Defender as it enters its final phase of production at the Solihull manufacturing plant.

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