After a 23-year wait, the new Land Rover Defender is finally starting to make its way into showrooms around the United States. The legendary SUV made a name for itself by being a go-anywhere, do-anything off-roader with an attractive boxy profile. The new Defender promises to fix some of the ergonomic and creature comfort issues that the old one had, while retaining all of the ruggedness that made it famous.
Over the years, people have gotten their Defenders into some ridiculous situations, and Land Rover’s own ad campaign for the new model actively encourages shenanigans, so we thought it would be a good time to look at some of the ways people have abused the plucky British SUV over the years.
Here are three of our favorite videos of people taking their Land Rover Defenders into situations that they probably should have avoided.
Top Gear Dam Climb
Richard Hammond climbed a dam in a Defender on Top Gear several years ago, and while it was a heavily choreographed event that involved the vehicle being pulled up a dam by a winch instead of actually driving up, it illustrates the go-anywhere spirit perfectly. The 64-year-old Land Rover creaked and rattled, but made it to the top of the dam, thankfully letting Hammond live to wreck another day.
V8 Defender Going Crazy
This Defender sounds great and seems upgraded to the point that it’s almost indestructible. Jump after jump, the Land Rover doesn’t seem to be any worse for the wear. For all we know, he could still be out there, flying through the woods in his Defender.
Hardcore Defender 90
The upcoming two-door Defender 90, priced at just over $50,000, won’t be cheap by any means, but there’s a good chance that this guy has put nearly that much into making his old-school Defender a truly hardcore rig. The 3.9-liter V8 sounds as serious as the Defender looks, but it’s apparently not serious enough to tackle some of the obstacles it comes across in the video.
Thanks to pandemic-related production shutdowns, the 2021 Defender is going to be in short supply for quite some time. That means it’ll likely be a while before we start seeing them being abused like the ones in the videos above, though stranger things have happened.