The Defender as we know it might be on it way out, but Land Rover isn’t letting the iconic off-roader go out without a bang. Perhaps the biggest bang – or at least the most visible – will be the Defender’s role in 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Land Rover specially modified a Defender 110 Wagon to transport the Webb Ellis Cup along the 100-day Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour across the U.K. and Ireland. Yep, this Defender’s only job is to carry the golden trophy around in style. In fact, the trophy gets nearly as good accommodations as The Pope, having a protective glass case with easy viewing, air conditioning, and a 40-inch flat screen TV.

The festivities begin June 10 and run through September 18, ending at the Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony in Twickenham Stadium. It’s at that point the tournament begins, taking place within 13 stadiums in the U.K. before ending on October 31. In total, the Defender will carry the trophy to more than 300 evens where fans and players will have a chance to see the prize.

However, it’s not all about the trophy, The Defender is a prize worth staring at itself. For the full run-down of all its customizations, continue reading.

Continue reading to learn more about the Land Rover Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender.

  • Year:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Energy:
  • Displacement:
    2.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    12.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    95 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, 4WD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    65000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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The Defender 110’s classic styling certainly shines through on this one-off build. Jaguar Land Rover’s Specialty Vehicle Operations fitted the Defender with a factory-optional brush guard and front winch, aluminum skidplates, mud flaps, high-mount air intake, and roof rack with a set of off-road lights. Lastly, a set of BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A tires ensure the Defender always has sure footing on rough ground.

This Land Rover’s real story is in back. The SVO team removed the wagon’s rear roof section and replaced it with a fully boxed glass encasement supported by metal X-bracing. The finished product is clean and attractive.


2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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In keeping with the mission of this Defender, the interior area that houses the trophy is fully air conditioned to keep fog off the class. Acting as a backdrop behind the trophy is a 40-inch flat screen TV, for viewing rugby, of course. The area allows the Land Rover to carry the trophy is safety yet in full view of onlookers.

The rest of the interior is more traditional Defender. The dashboard and its controls all appear as normal, as does the non-airbag steering wheel, six-speed manual transmission, and manual transfer case. The only real difference is SVO’s special touches on the seats. Gone are the standard coverings, replaced by perforated leather with blue accents. At the headrests are embroidered Trophy Tour logos. A commemorative plaque mounted down low on the dash attests to this truck’s one-off construction.


2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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Like all modern Defenders, this truck is powered by the 2.2-liter turbodiesel mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The engine makes 120 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to move the Defender through muddy ruts and over boulders, yet not nearly adequate for keeping up with highway traffic. Nevertheless, the Defender makes do with what it has.

Adding to its off-road prowess is its manual transfer. The box splits power going to the rear wheels and allows the engine to power both the rear and front axles. A center differential lock provides a 50/50 torque split between the axles, making the most of the available power.


2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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Though Land Rover hasn’t released the pricing for this one-off Defender, it’s easy to guess this sucker is expensive. The donor vehicle started life as a range-topping Autobiography edition, meaning it carried a base price of roughly $50,000. Add to that the extensive modifications, and this Defender might top the $65,000 mark.


2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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This modified Defender might be overkill when it comes to protecting and displaying a trophy, but Land Rover will undoubtedly get plenty of attention as the truck drives around the streets of Europe. Sadly, the Defender is going away after 2015 and will be replaced with a yet-unveiled SUV that will carry its same name. And as that time draws near, the Defender almost becomes more of a trophy than the golden cup it carries – ever increasing in value as a last of its breed.

  • Leave it
    • Likely to spend its life in a museum somewhere
    • No powertrain upgrades
    • Interior still sparse

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Press Release

Land Rover has today revealed the Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender, a modified 110 Station Wagon created to transport the Webb Ellis Cup on the 100-day Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour across the UK and Ireland, delivered by England Rugby 2015.

2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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Land Rover is a Worldwide Partner of this year’s international Rugby World Cup and has created a very special Defender worthy of custodianship of rugby’s most instantly recognisable icon – the Webb Ellis Cup.

The specially-modified 110 Defender Station Wagon was developed and built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division at its headquarters at Oxford Road HQ in Ryton, UK. The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender has been designed to safely and securely display the Webb Ellis Cup, while it travels across the UK and Ireland during the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender made waves today as Land Rover unveiled the vehicle in spectacular fashion at Tower Bridge in London where it emerged, from a giant rugby ball, driven by Land Rover Ambassador and Rugby World Cup 2003 winner, Lewis Moody. The 8.2m high ball floated 25 miles up the River Thames from Tilbury Dock on Thursday, passing iconic London landmarks such as the Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf along the way.

The focal point of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender is the bespoke Trophy cabinet to the rear of the vehicle. A one-of-a-kind Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender App has been developed specifically for the purpose of controlling the high-specification technology within the Trophy cabinet – making sure that conditions are just right. Lighting, temperature, the locking mechanism that secures the Webb Ellis Cup and the 40-inch flat-screen Toshiba television are all controlled through the App on a 10” Toshiba Windows Tablet which acts as the interface. The Trophy cabinet is also protected with toughened security glazing.

2015 Land Rover Defender Rugby World Cup Edition
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The climate control system is crucial to ensuring the Trophy is always the star and visible to fans throughout the tour. It maintains a constant temperature within the cabinet to eliminate fogging and is aided by anti-glare security glass. To add a touch of theatre, three different lighting modes have been incorporated whilst the flat-screen TV will play a host of memorable moments from Rugby’s illustrious history.

The passenger interior is based on the Defender Autobiography edition and offers a high level of personalised design touches. Black Windsor Leather seats have been embellished with gold contrast stitching and Rugby World Cup 2015 blue piping whilst the contrast stitch extends to the dashboard and doors. The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour logo takes prominent position being embroidered onto the front headrests.

Powered by Land Rover’s proven 2.2-litre diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission, this iconic all-terrain vehicle also features a front winch, aluminium sump guard, side and rear steps, modified raised air intake and expedition rack. These are complimented by striking Rugby World Cup 2015 graphics to the exterior. Vehicle spot lights illuminate the immediate surroundings like a floodlit pitch while the broader 16” off-road tyres give the Defender a purposeful and self-assured stance.

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John Edwards, Managing Director for Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations division, said: “It’s been a privilege to work on this one-off Land Rover. The Rugby World Cup 2015 Defender is the perfect showcase for the ability of our Special Vehicle Operations division to make bespoke vehicles. From the illuminated Trophy cabinet at the back to its luxury interior, every aspect of this unique and special vehicle has been carefully engineered to provide the ultimate platform for the Webb Ellis Cup as it travels around the UK.”

The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour, around the UK and Ireland, reflects the Defender’s legendary go anywhere, do anything character as it traverses countrywide to bring the Webb Ellis Cup to over 300 events in 100 days and engage with fans and players at all levels.

The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour in the UK and Ireland kicks off on 10 June and will culminate on 18 September at the Rugby World Cup 2015 Opening Ceremony at Twickenham Stadium. The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour Defender will continue to transport the Webb Ellis Cup throughout the Tournament, which takes place across 13 stadiums in the UK until the final on 31 October.

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