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This old Land Rover Defender has been given in-wheel electric motors

The result is 480bhp and many torques hauling the 110 Station Wagon around in absolute silence. And a bit of terror, probably

Published: 18 Apr 2024

Stop what you’re doing: we want to introduce you to a car with in-wheel electric motors attached at each corner. And guess what? The tech has been applied to a rusty old Land Rover Defender 110, modified by UK-based Bedeo, which has introduced the new-but-old-but-new Landy as the maiden car in its ‘Reborn Electric: Icons’ range.

What you’ve got here are four proprietary in-wheel motors (IWM) working alongside a 75kWh battery to provide an estimated 153 miles of range. Bedeo has said a full charge is complete in around 90 minutes using a 50kW charger, or five hours with the dedicated on-board 22kW cable. 

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The retrofit unit is also claimed to weigh about the same as the knackered diesel engine it replaces, which means it should only weigh about the same as yer average school. No matter though, because the Defender now produces a peak power of 120bhp per motor

In Top Gear arithmetic, that means a total output of 480bhp and, frankly, a mountain of torque. And while that equates to a relatively paltry 10s run to 62mph and a capped top speed of 80mph, it shouldn't have any issues scaling just about any environment you can think of. Including the perilous Hammersmith Flyover in London.

Externally, it looks like a bog-standard Defender 110 Station Wagon, right until you spot those massive IWMs perched behind the wheels. At least you’ll have fun explaining what they are when newbies ask you why you’ve got brake discs the size of dustbin lids.

Osman Boyner, the founder and CEO of Bedeo, said: “We are committed to maintaining the original car's kerb weight, charm and driving dynamics while ensuring easy maintenance and delivering the benefits of electrification. For the Defender, and other models to come, this means zero tailpipe emissions, zero noise, and the preservation of the nostalgic, classic driving experience we all cherish without sacrificing its essence or adding unnecessary, bulky weight.

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"Reborn Electric: Icons represents a natural evolution for us as pioneers in sustainable mobility. The conversion of the Defender showcases the versatility of our proprietary technologies and unlocking the in-wheel motor in this way will forge a new path for the future. We're not simply converting cars to electric power; we're preserving automotive heritage, while enabling the clean and efficient transportation of the future, with a technology that has only been preserved for large OEMs and brand-new vehicles, until today."

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