Land Rover Defender

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Twisted LR Defender

Road Test

Land Rover Defender by Twisted Performance driven

Driven November 2012

Additional Info

Nobody needs wellies in Mayfair. Nor do they really need a rustic Land Rover more suited to the furrows of the shires. But as fashion mags fill up with collections of rural chic, so do garages in the more salubrious corners of town. And as the trend accelerates, so does the absurdity of the transformations from farmyard tools to streetside candy. Why have a boggo Defender when you can afford one re-trimmed with a £25k interior including Bentley-grade leather?

Twisted Performance will do exactly that. At £75,000, this P10 Red Edition costs over twice as much as the most basic Defender 90 sold by Land Rover (though it's still deemed a commercial vehicle, so you could get your VAT back). For that, you get a complete package of parts that could be broken down into a more affordable menu. New tyres, more power, lower/stiffer suspension, better brakes, more soundproofing, upgraded stereo, plus lashings of expensive leather sourced from the interior designers to Bentley.

Don't be put off by this specific colour scheme. Each car is bespoke, so if you'd prefer the gearstick to look less like a giant red rounders bat, just ask. If you could live without the extra 43bhp, gained from turbo and ECU mods, don't option it, although the extra poke does make for a surprising turn of pace. Similarly, if you'd prefer softer suspension for rock-hopping, lose the shorter springs and new gas dampers, although they do make the ride and ambitious cornering less squidgy. More powerful brakes a bit much for you? Don't be daft. It's a Defender - more stopping power is always good.

It's unlikely you'll find the P10 up to its wipers in mud. If that's your thing, talk to the people at Twisted, who can fit more robust suspension and underbellies, or pretty much whatever else you'd like to have. And ultimately, it's still a Land Rover, so - despite reduced ground clearance - it'd certainly handle a bit of rough.

If it were our choice, we'd skimp on the mechanical mods altogether. They noticeably improve performance, especially the brakes, but there's only so much you can do with a Defender before it gives up and falls over. Instead, we'd spend the cash on a tasteful interior refresh with a few exterior jewels. On London streets, the Red Edition gained more affectionate glances than any Aston or Bentley. Think of it as a luxo twist on a British classic.

Dan Read

The numbers
2200cc, 4cyl, 4WD, 165bhp, 300lb ft, 25mpg, 266g/km CO2, 0-62 in 11secs (est), 94mph, 1771kg

The verdict
Posh, pricey and unique. Fashionable farmers sign here now...

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