Land Rover Defender 110 “Project Sweet Pea” Restomod Packs LT4 Supercharged V8 Muscle

E.C.D. Automotive Design, the world’s largest Land Rover restoration company, has finished yet another fantastic-looking restomod. An older 110 served as the canvas for this build, which is rocking an eight-speed automatic and a supercharged V8 powerplant of General Motors origin.

The coil-sprung Defender was introduced in 1983 as the Land Rover One Ten, followed by the Ninety in 1984, with these numbers spelled in full. The replacement for the Land Rover series would be renamed for the 1991 model year Defender, which came in short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 flavors. North America received the 110 for the 1993 model year, whereas the 90 was offered from 1994 through model year 1997.

Extensively modified to comply with U.S. regulations, the Defender 110 was originally equipped with a Buick 215-based Rover V8 engine, LT-77 five-speed manual transmission, and LT230 transfer case. The subsequent Land Rover Defender 90 that replaced the 110 stateside was canned over airbag and side-impact requirements introduced for 1998.

500 units of the NAS Defender 110 were delivered stateside, plus 25 to Canadian customers, making it the most valuable of North American-spec vehicles. Even after the European 110 became eligible for importation, the NAS Defender 110 continued to be revered by off-road enthusiasts.

Project Sweet Pea isn’t a NAS Defender 110, but a 1995 model that was imported under the 25-year rule. A one-off commission finished in Ford Brittany Blue Metallic, the Landy pictured in the gallery features white wing top checkers, wing top air intakes, and side steps. The 16-inch alloy wheels are mounted with BFGoodrich all-terrain rubber boots, as you would expect from an off-road vehicle. Up front, you’ll notice the original grille gone in favor of the Kahn X-Lander from British outfit Project Kahn.

Finished in white and yellow, said grille is complemented by an ARB bull bar that promises extensive front-end protection. It further integrates a remote-controlled winch supplied by Warn. The 2+2+4 interior flaunts Recaro Sportster Cross front seats with custom-embroidered headrests.

The middle-row seats are also featured, whereas the load area boasts four inward-facing jump seats. The Caressa Porcelain leather upholstery benefits from Chatham Navy accents and alligator inserts. The wood grain steering wheel frames Esquire instrumentation, and on-board entertainment comes courtesy of a Kenwood eXcelon head unit connected to Infinity Kappa speakers and a subwoofer. Lacquered teakwood flooring in the cargo area and four mid-section cupholders pretty much seal the deal.

E.C.D. Automotive Design didn’t mention what kind of numbers that LT4 generates at the crankshaft, but we do know that Chevrolet sells an LT4 crate engine with 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet (854 Nm) of torque on deck. Essentially an LT1 with a blower on top, the LT4 produces these figures thanks to an Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger that spins at up to 20,000 revolutions per minute, generating more than 9 pounds of boost.

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Article Credits: Mircea Panait
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V8-Powered Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 Is a Carbon-Clad Widebody Titan

Ares Design’s gifted auto specialists are no strangers to the aftermarket realm. Since the company’s relatively recent birth, the Italian craftsmen never failed to amaze gearheads with their fascinating works of mechanical art.

A few of Ares’ most notable undertakings have honored the autoevolution pages with their presence, including a bespoke Porsche 911 Turbo with 425 hp on tap and a Tesla Model S-based convertible masterpiece. As you examine these beasts, it’s fairly safe to conclude that Modena’s experts mean business.

Given the fact that we can’t seem to get enough of this firm’s surreal wizardry (and I’ll bet you feel the same), we’d say a closer look at their Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 is a welcome feat. At the end of the day, transforming an undistinguished previous-gen Defender into a V8-powered monstrosity with eerie vibes is no walk in the park. In fact, I encourage you to sit down and take a deep breath because this bad boy will make you weak at the knees.

In Stock form, the SUV is brought to life by a 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine with four valves per cylinder head and a healthy compression ratio of 15.6:1. At about 3,500 rpm, the mill produces as much as 121 hp along with a respectable torque output of up to 266 pound-feet (361 Nm) at 2,000 revs. This oomph is distributed to all four wheels by means of a six-speed manual transmission, enabling the Defender to reach a top speed of 90 mph (145 kph).

Now that we’ve covered the standard vehicle’s main characteristics, let’s proceed with a thorough analysis of Ares Design’s leviathan. The very first thing you’ll notice is a sinister widebody kit that manages to look just about as rad as it gets. At the front, the new bodywork consists of a carbon fiber grille that doubles up as a headlight housing for the car’s new LED items, as well as a beefy hood with integrated air inlets.

On the flanks, we spot a set of muscular fender flares arching over the tuner’s rugged 18-inch five-spoke hoops. To add even more visual bulk, Italy’s pros went about installing a stealthy pair of tubular side steps in between. Furthermore, the colossus also received enlarged rear windows, a panoramic roof, and circular LED taillights to round out (no pun intended) the cosmetic pizzazz.

Inside, the cabin has been meticulously reupholstered with top-grade leather, but the use of premium materials doesn’t end there. An assortment of carbon fiber trimmings tastefully complements the new upholstery, while a state-of-the-art infotainment system supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto adorns the dashboard. Ares’ high-tech goodness is concluded by an engine start-stop button, electric windows, and heated side mirrors hosting fresh turn signals.

Last but not least, the Defender’s humble 2.2-liter turbodiesel powerplant has been discarded in favor of a naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 behemoth producing no less than 282 wild ponies and 324 pound-feet (440 Nm) of twist. To ensure the additional force is handled with ease, the V8 predator has been coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox. On the other hand, stopping power is taken good care of by six-piston calipers from AP Racing.

The finishing touch comes in the form of a suspension lift kit, which increases the SUV’s ground clearance by 1.4 inches (35 mm). Should you be looking to purchase your own Defender Spec 1.2, Ares Design claims that your order will be delivered in approximately three months. However, pricing information remains undisclosed at the time of this publication.


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Article Credit: Silvian Secara
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