The ultimate apocalypse 4x4? Company reveals mad custom Land Rover Defender
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Perhaps in the same vein as the popularity of the little Suzuki Jimny, tuning companies all over the globe seem to be leaping onto the Land Rover Defender in their droves.
The amount of compelling aftermarket packages for Defender owners has grown incredibly immense over the last 12 months. And, one of the latest to throw a new product in the ring is a company called East Coast Defender (ECD).
The American-based company has actually been around for a few years now, specialising (as you'd expect given their name) in making mental Defenders. Founded by Englishmen, they started as a three-person operation — each worker putting in 18-hour days. Now, they have a 30,000sqft facility with over 50 full-time staff.
And, those staff have been busy making this thing. The company have dubbed it Project Neo, with all-terrain capabilities and interior luxury both clearly front of mind.
Based on the Defender 110, it cuts an unmistakable yet menacing figure. The Defender's standard boxy shape has been complimented by a rugged exoskeleton (complete with rear-mounted ladder), guards on the rear windows, roof-mounted lights, full-length side-steps, window guards, a bash plate, and more.
Big fender flares expand the Defender's foot-print, with monstrous 20-inch Kahn Mondial Retro wheels wrapped in 32-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain rubber bolted in underneath to suit. Fox Racing shocks and Old Man Emu springs (yes, that's a real company) have raised the ride-height by 51mm.
And you'll probably heard it first before you see it. Project Neo is fitted with the equally familiar (although perhaps not in this arrangement) 6.2-litre LS3 V8 from General Motors, linked to a six-speed automatic. It's rated for 420kW, and each one of those kilowatts will be heard loud and clear thanks to an aftermarket Borla exhaust system.
But it's perhaps the inside that's the most impressive thing.
ECD has given the Defender a full luxury treatment. Quilted leather coats the base and back of each of the four bucket seats. Those in the front get a wireless phone charger and a JL Audio sound system to toy with. Meanwhile down the back, rear passengers can heat or cool their seats as they please. The rear centre console also houses air conditioning adjustment and a pair of all-important cup holders.
If we were running ECD's public relations, we'd been contacting everyone in Hollywood to cram one of these into the next apocalypse flick.