Manhart Gives Land Rover Defender 500-HP Of Attitude

This particular Defender prefers tarmac to gravel.

It’s safe to say that the all-new Land Rover Defender is a success. The British marque has battled to keep up with strong demand for the SUV, which has proved itself to be a superb off-roader. But there is a group of buyers who will also buy the Defender for its appearance and image, not necessarily to go hunting down Jeeps in the wild. For them, Manhart has just revealed its new Defender DP 500. The German tuner has gained prominence for making some already great sports cars even better than the stock model, so it’s no surprise that the DP 500 is a Defender with upgrades aimed at making it even better on-road, but maybe not as good off-tarmac.

As a starting point, Manhart used a Defender 110 P400. The stock P400 power plant is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder with turbocharging and a mild hybrid system that already produces a strong 395 horsepower (Manhart quotes the slightly higher 400 cv figure) and 406 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, Manhart thought that wasn’t quite brawny enough and increased outputs to 505 mechanical horsepower and 524 lb-ft with an engine control software remap, making it nearly as powerful as the new Defender V8. Manhart will also offer the option of lowering the suspension by 30 mm (about 1.2 inches) and a special stainless steel exhaust system with carbon or ceramic-coated tailpipes is said to be on the way.

Added performance aside, Manhart’s DP 500 looks as aggressive as any BMW M or Mercedes-AMG SUV. It rides on enormous 24-inch Manhart Forged Line wheels although smaller 22-inch wheels for off-road use are also available – we imagine without the suspension drop. This Defender also gets wing flares and silver stripes which contrast nicely with black paint. The cabin is highlighted by a mix of leather/Alcantara with various accent choices and Manhart ErgoMed front seats from Recaro. The tuner’s product page didn’t list an overall price for all these upgrades although the ECU software mapping does cost €2,973 ($3,550 at current rates) and the lowered, optimized air suspension costs €499 ($596).

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Article Credit: Karl Furlong
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