Award-winning vocalist Lira and well-known sports presenter Elma Smit have been announced as Land Rover South Africa ambassadors for the new Defender 90.
Aside from her career as an iconic soul singer, Lira is a Namibia Tourism ambassador who jumps at opportunities which require bravery. She’s a self-proclaimed adventure seeker and is proud to battle conformity in a male-dominated music industry. Lira’s at home on stage performing to thousands, and on her own exploring the dusty roads of southern Africa.
“The new Defender screams adventure and in the compact 90 form, its size suits my lifestyle perfectly,” said Lira. “I’ve always admired what Land Rover stands for and I’m proud to be associated with the history of such an iconic nameplate in the Defender. I can’t wait to hit the road and put the most capable Land Rover ever, to the test in my world.”
Elma Smit is synonymous with sports presenting on TV and radio both locally and abroad, and her passion for rugby at all levels aligns perfectly with the Land Rover and Defender brands. Land Rover has a long-standing, 20-year heritage and commitment to rugby at all levels and has been a sponsor of Rugby World Cup since 2011. It was also Official Vehicle of Rugby World Cup 2019, when a prototype Defender 90 delivered the Webb Ellis Trophy to the Springboks after winning the final in Japan.
“I was in Yokohama to watch South Africa win the World Cup in 2019, and I clearly remember seeing the Defender 90 revealed to the world and taking a lap of the field before presenting the trophy to the Springboks,” said Elma. “It was a truly memorable moment, and now two years on I’m fortunate enough to be an ambassador for the very same vehicle. This association has brought my love of Land Rover and rugby together in a special way.”
As part of the South African launch programme for the Defender 90, Lira and Elma were invited to Jaguar Land Rover Experience in Lonehill, Johannesburg, to get to grips with their new vehicles in preparation for future adventures. The two ambassadors experienced the Defender in extreme situations, and were instructed on how to best use its suite of driver assistance features in a challenging off-road environment.
“The ease at which the Defender handled the Experience facility’s obstacles and trails is astonishing,” said Lira. “I looked at the steep inclines and deep water and thought ‘no way’, but the Defender took everything in its stride. I’ve only just begun to comprehend what this vehicle can do, but I look forward to living with it on my daily journeys and off-time adventures.”
“It’s so easy to manoeuvre,” said Elma. “With such a short wheelbase the Defender 90 turns tightly and clambers over everything in its path. I’m amazed with its technologies and I love the camera systems that offer views around the vehicle I can’t see from behind the wheel. This car will integrate into my lifestyle perfectly and I can’t wait to get even more familiar with it.”
Lira and Elma both embody the #TeamDefender spirit of like-minded people, who aspire to go above and beyond to make more of their world. More than just a clever hashtag, Team Defender showcases how we are capable of great things when working as a united force. Defender is a symbol of modern strength; a true representation of the courage to make a difference, and the two ambassadors will now continue their efforts in charity and adventure while at the wheels of the most capable Land Rover ever created.