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Wednesday 3rd October 2012

You Know You Want To: £90K V8 Defender

Like an AMG G-Wagen, only British and better



Are tarted up Land Rover Defenders acceptable? It's a thorny one, the very essence of a 'proper' Land Rover surely being the less paint on its (preferably muddy and dented) aluminium panels and the bigger the gaps between them the better. Shiny paint, balloon tyres and blingy accoutrements aren't really the done thing.

What, no sheepdog on the passenger seat?
What, no sheepdog on the passenger seat?
But, then again, when you pair the above with a 460hp, 4.2-litre supercharged V8 bellowing out of side exhausts the inner purist faces a stern challenge.

And as the AMG G-Wagen moves steadily into quilted leather old-age there's something gratifyingly uncouth about this JE Engineering 'Zulu' Defender, bass-bin aside still keeping just enough proper off-road credibility to keep us interested. And while a G-Wagen can just about - at a pinch - cut it as everyday transport you'd still have to be pretty bloody minded and dedicated to choose it. Never mind fork out £90K on it. And for that we'd salute anyone willing to take the plunge.

If you needed any further encouragement the dealer has even put up a video focusing on the bit that really matters - the noise.



JE ENGINEERING LAND ROVER DEFENDER ZULU
Price
: £89,950
Why you should: 460hp, side exhausts, snorkel and sinister black paint
Why you shouldn't: Price requires some serious denial

See the original ad here.

Dan Trent
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Author Discussion

Hellbound

Original Poster:

2,231 posts

60 months

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That does look menacing. And it appears they've carried out quite a bit of work on the car. BUT, is a fettled 2009 Defender really worth £90k?

For me at least, the obvious answer is a resounding no.

Don't LR fit V8's themselves? Wouldn't your money be better spent asking them to build a V8 monster that's factory fresh?

bob1179

13,725 posts

93 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I want this, but with the newer 5.0 supercharged V8 rather than the old 4.2. If you are going to do it, you might as well do it properly!

I love it.

smile

vdubbin

1,922 posts

81 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Just the ticket for ferrying ex-soldiers to my bonded warehouse.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

74 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
It's cool, but £90k come off it, no way on Earth does it really cost anything like that to build. What is it, a gold plated chassis with rhino horn interior trim?

Full props for JE being able to blag such an outrageous price though.

Charlie Foxtrot

2,899 posts

99 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
And after all that you still can only drive it with the window open.


Advertisement

JTJ

53 posts

24 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Can't understand why LR aren't offering something similar?

BeirutTaxi

5,674 posts

98 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Does it still work as an off road Defender though?


I've been messing around in my parents TD5 90 recently and it can be... quite scary eek

AWESOME fun though.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

74 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Charlie Foxtrot said:
And after all that you still can only drive it with the window open.
rolleyes

Let me guess you think a Defender is cramped, noisy and has a too small a cabin? So what if you added a wider body, increased elbow, leg and head room. You might even improve NVH, refinement and comfort too. Yet still retaining the modular build and ladder chassis construction, live axles and off road ability?


Umm sounds rather like you are wanting a Discovery 1!!!!! wink


BTW - lack of elbow room is a good thing in the Defender, as it allows for 3 seats in the front but a narrow overall width (good for off roading). It also means as the driver you are sat right next to the window, this allows you to stick your head out when off road and easily see the front or rear wheel. This can be quite handy on certain types of terrain. Moving the seat further away from the window seriously affects this.

SHutchinson

476 posts

68 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Rock sliders, with an exhaust sticking out underneath them. Erm, I mean it's still cool but clearly a lot of it is just for show.

BeirutTaxi

5,674 posts

98 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
JTJ said:
Can't understand why LR aren't offering something similar?
Small market segment and they already have the Range Rover Vogue V8.

Harry Flashman

9,755 posts

126 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
As the owner of a blinged up Defender, I firmly fall on the side that these cars are awesome, if a little far from their pure off-roader brief.

Twisted and JE do charge incredible prices though - Twisted diesel Defenders, while fantastic, start at £75k... Admittedly, both companies take the cars apart and rebuild them, rather than just sticking bits on.

My own has had a rebuild and tuning (by Nene Overland - a bit cheaper than JE/Twisted, and thanks to the previous owner), and on-road performs more like a Discovery in terms of refinement and cruising ability, than the Defender it's based on. However, the nice interior means that it is useless as an off-road tool: you're too busy worried about ruining the seats and carpets (rubber matting in large quantities has been purchased after I spent an entire Sunday cleaning mud out of it after a shoot recently)

I still love the idea of a supercharged V8 in a Defender. Money no object, I'd have one. JE also put the twin turbo JLR V6 (250bhp) into Defenders. Cost of engine/drivetrain conversion alone? £30k+. Ouch.

jhonn

86 posts

33 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
While I applaud the fact that vehicles like this exist, even at half the asking price I dont think that it is good value.

RenesisEvo

2,317 posts

103 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
The noise cloud9

That is all.

Jonny TVR

1,074 posts

165 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Get a new Range Rover instead??

X5TUU

258 posts

71 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
sorry but I could never buy that over a G-Wagon

JTJ

53 posts

24 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
BeirutTaxi said:
Small market segment and they already have the Range Rover Vogue V8.
Yes, but the current range rover is soft compared to defender and g-wagen,
Having a solid axel makes or brakes a deal for some in the 4x4 market.

scholesy

143 posts

46 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
The exhausts exiting under the rocksliders really gets my goat, I don't know what they were thinking doing that? I had a v8 defender, and it was nice and rugged and modified and cost me less than a 20th of the price of this mad thing. I think I should set up shop building these if people are prepared to pay this much.

garypotter

770 posts

34 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Jonny TVR said:
Get a new Range Rover instead??
+1

Pointless car V8 Defender

sodslaw

189 posts

23 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
snorkel and extra low exhaust pointing out the side?

Bobhon

438 posts

63 months

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Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Am I the only one who thinks that the noise on the video is a bit tame and boring?
Lots of low revs burbling from the V8 just seemed a bit monotonous. I was really hoping for some serious beans going on with this soundtrack.

But then again I do drive (occasionally) a TVR V8s.

Maybe giving it the full Heinz leads to too much wheelspin (can you have too much wheelspin).

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