Land Rover Defender 90 transformed into luxury EV
A revived fleet of Land Rover Defender 90 soft-top 4x4s are set to hit North America in the coming months, and you won’t hear them coming.
The work of British Land Rover Defender specialist Twisted, the 30 reincarnated Defenders are powered purely by electricity and are priced from a not-insignificant $US185,000 ($A259,000).
Designed as a nod to the North American Specification (NAS) short wheelbase soft-top 90 of the 1980s, the baby off-roaders have been completely refreshed and fitted with an exclusive electric powertrain that is said to offer up to 200 miles of range (321km).
Twisted says the revived Defenders will deliver an exclusivity factor that will turn heads at beaches, in the dirt and on the road. Each comes with a two-year/20,000 mile warranty.
Two customisable trim levels are available, the NAS-E and NAS-E Plus (US$210,000/AU$294k), each taking approximately nine months to build.
The zero-emissions powertrain found in the entry-spec NAS-E offers up 159kW/380Nm, while the NAS-E Plus comes with higher outputs of 238kW/420Nm. Both come with a 22kW/h charging system and are ‘compliant with North American EV regulations’ as well as California CARB regs.
Upgrades to the Defender 90’s chassis include progressive suspension and custom-valved dampers that Twisted says dramatically reduces understeer and suspension travel.
There’s also beefier six-piston brake callipers up front and four-piston rear brakes, while other components have been improved to handle increased torque figures.
Three colour choices are available – Malibu yellow, Yosemite green and Tahoe blue – with 10 example of each hue available.
Inside the cabin resides cream leather seats with Alcantara inserts (bench seat up front), silver painted sports wheels, a roll cage, touchscreen infotainment unit with navigation, air-conditioning, an EV system management touchscreen, unique ‘spray-down’ flooring and a Twisted Stage One front end.
The more expensive NAS-E Plus adds more power (320hp), a brush bar, side steps, black side stills, roll-bar spotlights and a NAS-E body stripe decal.
Every example comes with three driving modes: Sport, Eco and Off-road, a wide-angle reverse camera, an eight-channel audio system and a GPS tracker with live monitoring available via an app. Safety features such as ABS (anti-lock braking system) and traction control are also fitted.
“The Californian market has been missing a uniquely stylish electric 4×4 option,” said Twisted North America chief operating officer, Bruce Riggs.
“With colour schemes reflecting the natural beauty of California, a removable soft top shape to fully live the elements, advanced electric powertrain engineering exclusive to Twisted, zero-emission power, practical battery range and luxuriously modern interior touches, the Twisted NAS-E is the ultimate expression of the American coastal lifestyle,” he said.
A limited number of test drives are available for those wanting to “try before you buy”. They commence in early October, 2020, while those less bothered about the ride are able to put down a fully refundable deposit now.