The iconic Land Rover Defender is not long for this world in its current guise, but at least one coach-building company isn’t going to let it die quietly.
Kahn Design has come up with this: the Flying Huntsman 105 Longnose Defender.
As the names suggests, the Longnose has an additional 400mm of metal in its snout which also prompted the ‘105’ name.
While a standard Defender 90 has a wheelbase of 90 inches, Kahn’s version stretches this by 15 inches to accommodate a new powerplant.
Beneath the extra metal is a 6.2 litre LS3 V8 from General Motors making an ‘estimated’ 298-336kW of power, matched with a six-speed automatic transmission featuring push-button controls.
The 105 Longnose also does away with Land Rover’s off-road wheels and tyres in favour of more road-oriented equipment, and comes with an upgraded brake and suspension package.
Despite the changes, Kahn says the 105 Longnose is still “built to tame even the hardiest terrain” while being equally at home “outgunning” soft-roaders on the tarmac.
The 105 Longnose is set to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show where its price will be confirmed - currently estimated by Kahn at £125,000 (AU$232,000) plus tax for UK customers.
And that may seem enough to keep the Defender’s flame burning, but Kahn has much greater plans for the future.
Under the Flying Huntsman banner, a future four-door version is also planned (perhaps with a 125-inch wheelbase) and even a six-wheeled ‘6x6’ version.
A 6x6 layout could gel nicely with Kahn’s plans to offer conversion kits with B4, B6 and B7 levels of blast protection.
A 3.0 litre petrol engine may become available along with 3.2 and 4.6 litre diesel units, while more powerful versions of the 6.2 litre engine could also be offered.
"The Defender is probably the most iconic and well-loved British vehicle in existence - I believe even more so than the MINI," Kahn CEO, Afzal Kahn said.
"The fact that Land Rover is retiring it is an absolute tragedy - it's one of my top three all-time favourite vehicles."
Kahn promises more details on alternative Flying Huntsman models in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more.
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