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Twisted Land Rover Defender V8 is bonkers





If you thought the classic Land Rover Defender was dead, think again.

Texas-based Twisted Automotive has revived the retro off-roader with serious V8 power, a decadent interior and a sharp new chassis.

The US car tuner is even building 30 electric drop-top Defenders for those who don’t like the idea of a 6.2-litre supercharged fireball lurking under the bonnet.

The V8-powered Twisted NA-V8 Defenders take around six months to build, are priced from $US250,000 ($A350,000) and no more than 200 units will be built over five years.

Exclusive, powerful and completely bonkers? What’s not to like?

The standard engine offering is the 6.2-litre LT1 V8, which dumps 455hp or 340kW through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

That power output compares very favourably with the British car-maker’s official Land Rover Defender Works V8, which packs a 297kW 5.0-litre V8 and costs $250K, but is sold out.

Of course, there’s always the 6.2-litre LT4 supercharged V8 that cranks out more than 650hp or 485kW, and Twisted engineers can “extract even more power out of each engine” if customers desire. Good to know.

Twisted backs up the tyre-frying engine performance with upgraded diffs, drive shafts and half shafts, a bespoke Alcon brake package, Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs. A bi-modal switchable exhaust system and a long-range fuel tank are nice touches too.

The interior can be tailored to suit but the standard fit-out is pretty schmick, with completely re-upholstered diamond-quilting available throughout, including on heated/cooled Recaro bucket seats up front, plus there’s heated windscreens fore and aft, vehicle tracking, sound proofing… the list goes on.

Five body styles are offered: the Defender 90 two-door ‘shorty’ in soft- and hard-top guise, along with the Defender 110 wagon and dual-cab ute, and the stretched 130 cab-chassis pick-up.

The US car-company decided to embark on the high-end vehicle conversion after Twisted North America’s CEO, Tom Maxwell, saw an opportunity for something a little different in a market flooded with tough-looking luxury SUVs from Germany.

He said the Twisted NA-V8 Defenders “…stand out with unrivaled levels of prestige, interior/exterior design possibilities tailored for any personality and immense attention to detail across every element of the machine.”

But if this conversion isn’t wild enough, there’s always the $500,000 Jeep Wrangler-based Rezvani Tank X, a completely batty 745kW/1000hp post-apocalyptic armoured road warrior.

Or you could plump for the brand-new Land Rover Defender V8, or an independent take on the original British off-road icon, the upcoming INEOS Grenadier.