The Land Rover Defender is one of the most iconic cars ever made – the same basic shape has been around since 1948 and it’s still in production now looking virtually the same (though bodywork-wise it’s almost unchanged from the 1983 model). It was always designed as a utilitarian workhorse, with the utmost off-road prowess and ability, with an interior you could wash out with a hose and easily replaceable body panels should one get beaten up while out on farm tracks. In fact the same can be said for the cars in production today – they’re still just an usable and capable, but with a lot more creature comforts than the early models.
Many people love the Defender, but want to use it more as a 4×4, and a car to drive around daily in, so they tend to find the power and luxury a little lacking. That’s what a chap called Charles Fawcett thought anyway, when he was a young man. In 2000 he wanted more power for his Defender, so started some investigation and ended up starting Twisted. After the power came the personalisation and luxury, and the Twisted we know now was born. No two Twisted Defenders are the same and that’s part of the appeal to their customers.
So starting with the engines – why change what Land Rover have done? Well, frankly the engine is a workhorse and is very unstressed, there’s a fair bit of torque (265lb/ft) but the standard 120bhp is a bit woeful for a 1900kg vehicle. 0-62mph takes a leisurely 14.7 seconds and the top speed is 90mph, both of which Twisted can improve on. Their P6 performance upgrade takes the 2.2 diesel engine to 174bhp and 310lb/ft or torque, enough to knock 4 seconds off the 0-62mph sprint and add 10mph to the top speed. So it’s not exactly a sports car yet, but certainly enables the Defender to finally keep up with traffic. Of course, they’ll also add a lot more punch in the form of a 500bhp supercharged V8 should you so desire, but that’ll cost you a fair bit more.
But the power is actually the most minor thing Twisted do. Drive one and you realise that they have transformed how the Defender behaves as a vehicle – they start by stripping each ‘rebuild’ of cabin fittings, plugging the alarmingly large panel gaps that Defender owners often find in their cars, resealing the entire thing, rust-proofing the underbody and adding water-repellant sound deadening inside to keep the wind and road noise out. Then they start on the interior fittings, meaning leather and alcantara everywhere, putting the interior back together with more precision and with tighter tolerances than before, while adding whatever niceties the owner fancies. Then there’s the suspension work – arguably the most difficult to work on – where they use new Eibach springs, Bilstein dampers and custom tuning to give the car much better body control and low speed ride while retaining all the ground clearance and axle articulation. So it’s just as capable off road but much more capable on.
And of course there’s the exterior makeovers – the individual parts seem minor but when put together things like the new larger alloy wheels with chunky tyres, bumpers with daytime running lights, wing vents, painted grilles, LED head and tail lights and other little touches the Defender comes out looking absolutely fantastic.
What you end up with is a fully customised 4×4 with all the capability of the original Defender, but with the luxury of a Range Rover. We hope Twisted stays around for a long time because we certainly enjoy seeing them on the roads!. Source: botb