LR Defender by Twisted
LR Defender by Twisted £80k–£160k WE SAY: FORGET THE LR WORKS DEFENDER. TREAT YOURSELF TO A TWISTED
Since the last Defender rolled off its production line in 2016, the world has gone bananas for the slab-sided stalwart of British military and agricultural engineering. A bit like the air-cooled Porsche boom, demand for the Defender – and prices for it – has gone through the roof.
So much that LR recently decided to bring it back to life with the limited-edition £150k V8 Works. Now, Defender specialist Twisted has made a properly engineered luxo twist on this classic. One that just might be better than LR’s.
How? Firstly, the Twisted cars are actually newer. Unlike LR’s limited series of stripped and rebuilt old cars, Twisted’s Defenders are delivery mileage ’16-plate cars from the factory. Being an industrious and forward-thinking type, Twisted’s founder Charles Fawcett placed a £7.2million order for 240 new Defenders back in 2015.
Prices start at £80k and include new tyres, more power, lower/stiffer suspension, better brakes, more soundproofing, Recaro buckets, an upgraded stereo, and lashings of expensive leather and Alcantara. Start ticking more boxes and you’ll see that number double. Especially when you opt for the £50k V8 conversion.
It’s a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated LS3 from a Corvette. With 430bhp and 424lb ft of torque, it’s laden with power, but is still refined at slow speed. Around town it gargles, but when you clog it, the revs run around the dial with delicious anger and quite frightening speed.
But unlike a standard Defender, the Twisted isn’t punishing. Bespoke springs and anti-roll bars are manufactured by Eibach, Bilstein dampers are custom valved to suit the spring rates while bias is dialled into the anti-roll bars to give more travel on the front axle, resulting in less understeer, more traction and a lot more gentle and pleasurable experience.
Compared to the Works, a Twisted seems good value. It has a better interior, superior ride and can be specced to look great. OK, it won’t have Works badging, but if you want a Defender now, Twisted has a proper fresh-out-the box one. And a decent one at that.