Land Rover Defender deployed to the coronavirus front lines

A fleet of Defenders meant for the press have been lent to the emergency services and the Red Cross.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Land Rover assists COVID-19 fight
Land Rover/Twitter

The Land Rover Defender has a storied history of responding to crises, and the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has quickly become a global fight.

It's only appropriate that just as the Defender returns, the rugged SUV is once again being deployed on the front lines. Land Rover's official Twitter account tweeted on Thursday that it's providing vehicles to emergency services and other organizations, including the Red Cross. Richard Agnew, the brand's public relations director, followed up the tweet and said these vehicles were originally meant for the press -- reviewers like Roadshow.

Instead, Land Rover pivoted to make them available to the people and organizations in need of support. Agnew told Roadshow that "opposed to them sitting in a closed up workshop," the team directed the Defenders to the Red Cross and "to support those who are isolated or vulnerable." Total, there are 105 Defenders shipping out for duty and at around 30 more will be prepared by next week.

Land Rover Defender assists COVID-19 fight
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Land Rover Defender assists COVID-19 fight

Shipping off to the Red Cross.

Land Rover/Twitter

Our own Emme Hall recently had a go with the 2020 Defender and she was happy to report the SUV isn't a cushy and comfortable imitation of the original. Instead, noting her experience with the previous model, it was every bit as capable and boasted modern comforts at the same time. The experience took place over a three-day journey across Namibia, so yes, she put the Defender to work.

Now, the Defender will get to work across the UK as everyone pitches in to flatten the curve.

Watch this: We challenged the new Land Rover Defender, off-road in Namibia

2020 Land Rover Defender brings heritage into the future

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First published March 27, 8:37 a.m. PT.
Update, 9:01 a.m.: Adds comment from Land Rover.