Custom Land Rover Defender Pair by GAS and Undefeated Offers Posh Overlanding

When the new Land Rover Defender launched in 2020, the main complaint most people had was that it had lost the ruggedness and simplicity of the original. To put it in other words, it had become too posh.

But then again, “posh” seems like a perfectly normal adjective for something coming from the United Kingdom, doesn’t it? Don’t they all drink tea all day and say “dear me” over there anyway? If someone was to make a posh SUV, certainly it would have to be a British brand.

Well, the thing with the new Defender is that it’s only truly luxurious when you compare it to the older model. Next to any other premium machine on the market, the best way you could describe its interior is smart-functional (you can blame the fashion industry for this type of fancy compound words if you don’t like them).

Ironically enough, the SUV built in Slovakia (where Jaguar Land Rover owns a plant) had to travel all the way to Los Angeles to get what could very well be the poshest makeover so far. The transformation came courtesy of Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) and Undefeated, two brands local in the City of Angels that had never worked together until this project.

Their work has already been on display at last year’s L.A. Auto Show, so if this feels familiar, stick around for some more details as well as the high-quality photos – about as high as the effort put into making these two vehicles. If you go through the list of modifications – which we’ll do in a second – you’ll see it’s not about quantity, but rather the attention to detail and the careful choosing of the right design, accessory, or material.

So, we’re looking at two 2021 Defenders, one of the 90 variety, with its shorter wheelbase, and one of the longer 110 (soon to become medium once the 130 gets out) type. Both use the P400 hybrid powertrain which is by far the best option for this model mating a small electric motor to a butter-smooth straight-six twin-turbo engine. This setup mixes massive amounts of power (395 hp and 406 lb-ft / 550 Nm, the latter available from as low as 2,000 rpm) and almost perfectly silent running, something a diesel could never do.

When it comes to starting trim levels, the stubbier SUV gets slightly ahead since it’s a “First Edition” whereas the 110 one is just a SE. Not that any of it matters now after the two American companies – one specializing in car customization and the other in stylish apparel – have had their way with them.

The first thing you’ll notice is the wheels, both vehicles sporting sets of Forgiato Custom “Steelies” with a 19-inch diameter finished in a creamy Ivory paint. They’re not exactly what people refer to when they talk about steel rims, but they sure make the two custom paint jobs stand out. The 90 Defender gets a fresh coat of Galpin Auto Sports’ custom “Jaguar Green” while the 110 one sports its blue equivalent (“Jaguar Blue”). Both SUVs’ roofs were painted to match the wheels.

On the inside, the two vehicles get GAS’ beige Parchment leather upholstery with either “navy houndstooth” or “beach towel” inserts, both of which look equally cool. We’re not so sure about the houndstooth one but the beach towel certainly makes a lot of sense since the 90 Defender has a clear surfing theme (something it definitely had to travel to California for).

The “Jaguar Green” short wheelbase SUV also has an intricate shelving system in the trunk that includes a biometric safe (to leave your important stuff in while you enjoy the waves), as well as a roof rack with surfboard attachment, an awning for shade during those hot summer days, and a road shower to get the sand off your feet before climbing in.

Over on the “Jaguar Blue” side, the 110 Defender has been kitted as a premium overlanding vehicle, sporting a slide-out kitchen with stove and sink, a refrigerator, a rooftop tent, and a roof-mounted 270-degree awning.

Neither of these two custom builds is particularly practical, but they do serve their purpose of drawing attention toward the pair of companies involved in the conversion, if not toward the third one that actually built the SUVs they’re based on as well. It’s something to whet your appetite and get you in the mood for customizing your car. Or buying a Defender. Or going surfing. Or cooking in nature. It depends, I guess.

Article Credit: Vlad Mitrache
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Ex-Top Gear Co-Host Says the 2022 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Doesn’t Make Much Sense

Even though it does not look as menacing as its iconic predecessor, the new-gen Land Rover Defender has conquered the hearts of off-road enthusiasts and SUV fans. That’s because it drives better than ever, is still relatively comfortable, spacious, and comes packed with the latest driver assistance and technology gear.

As of last year, Land Rover has sprinkled the new Defender family with a high-performance version. Simply called the Defender V8, it is available in the 90 and 110 body styles and doesn’t really stand out next to the lesser models. Sure, you do get bigger wheels, quad exhaust pipes out back, and some discreet V8 badges, but the thing is, when most people buy a sporty high-rider, they want people to notice it, so it definitely does not fit the ‘look at me’ bill.

Another problem, according to Rory Reid, whom you may remember from his relatively short Top Gear days, is that the 90 body style can be a bit of a letdown. Despite having a huge tailgate, or a rear door, depending on how you see it, the trunk space is smaller than that of a Ford Fiesta. Also, having people getting in and out of the rear passenger compartment takes too much time due to the slow-responding controls of the front seats. Sure, you can get rid of this issue by buying the 110 version, but it’s what the journo tested out, so he had to mention them.

Other than that, the V8 sounds great, the gearbox is very responsive, and it is quite comfortable on the road, despite riding on 22-inch wheels. There is a bit of a body roll, and that’s pretty much inexcusable nowadays, but the overall impression is that of a well-sorted SUV, especially with all the tech amenities and rugged interior, as long as you don’t compare it to a Range Rover Sport SVR, with which it shares its engine.

But should you actually spend your hard-earned Benjamins on it, or should you simply choose one of the lesser models instead? This review will probably help you decide, so get ready to take a short break and see what the Defender 90 V8 is all about.

Article Credit: Cristian Gnaticov
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1985 Land Rover Defender looks better than new in this ‘chameleon’ paint​

Netherlands-based car restorer Heritage Customs has finished restoring a rather world-weary Land Rover Defender 90, which wound up with a V8, a metal body kit and a unique Moon Dust Metallic finish.

We are tempted to call the exterior the main highlight of the entire project because of how well it looks on an elderly SUV. The near-black paint changes color to copper, bronze or brass depending on the viewing angle.

Interestingly enough, the customer apparently decided to leave all the dents and scratches on the 36-year-old car intact – probably to highlight its long years of service. We applaud the decision, because the assorted little defects look charming under the chameleon paintjob and next to the modern aluminum bumper, headlight bezels and running boards. Custom steel wheels looks simple, stylish and fitting.

The interior is awash with leather and Alcantara, while the trunk area is lined with wood. Modern niceties on board include a sports steering wheel, an audio system with a subwoofer, and a long gear shifter.

Powering the restomod from the Netherlands is a V8 of unspecified parameters. Prices remain likewise unknown

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Article Credit: Andrew Raspopov
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