The Land Rover Defender needs no introduction and when it comes to serious off-roading, there is hardly any rival that can match up to its skill and prowess.
While the new Defender range is yet to receive a fully electrified version, there have been many after-market modifications over a period of time which have converted the Defender to an electric SUV. The latest example is one that showcases an electrified Defender but in a ‘Twisted’ form.
Called the NAS-E, which stands for North America Specific – Electric, is an electric version of the Defender developed by Land Rover tuner Twisted. For reference, Twisted Automotive is a company based in the U.K. that builds custom Land Rover Defenders. The company recently started selling its Defenders in the U.S., and they’ve been offered with Chevy V8s. Now, the company is rolling out an electric Defender, and it has some impressive specifications.
Just 30 of the zero-emission 4x4s will be built and are now available to order in the US, with the company hinting that the car will eventually be sold globally. The SUV is offered in two trims: the standard NAS-E, and the more powerful and exclusive NAS-E Plus. It is based on the Defender which was sold in the US between 1993 and 1997. That car is now a collector’s item, with original examples regularly selling for more than £100,000.
Replacing the original V8 is an electric motor from Remy Borg-Warner in one of two specifications. The NAS-E will be offered in two states of tune: 214 hp and 380 Nm of torque for the standard variant or 320 hp and 419 Nm of torque for the NAS-E plus. Powering that motor is a 60-kWh battery. Twisted claims it will provide up to 200 miles of range on a single charge. It also supports DC fast charging, so longer trips shouldn’t be much of an issue.
The single motor sits under the hood in a longitudinal orientation like the original engine. It’s connected to a single-speed gear reduction transmission and a two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer case. So one will not only have the lowest of low-end torque but can even get additional torque multiplication via an old-school low-range gearbox. Speaking of old-school, the NAS-E still has front and rear solid axles like the original Defender, though it does get an upgraded suspension. The brakes are improved, too, with the front getting six-piston calipers and four-piston calipers for the rear.
The electric Defenders feature leather seats, air conditioning, a full infotainment system, a touch screen EV control system, a three-person bench seat up front and four more inward-facing bench seats in the back for a total of seven seats, along with a silver-finished Twisted sports steering wheel. A roll cage and Bimini hood are standard.
Buyers who opt for the NAS-E Plus gain a brush bar, side steps, rollbar spotlights, black side sills and an exclusive body stripe decal. The company is initially offering a short-wheelbase soft-top version that will be offered in a choice of three colours: Malibu Yellow, Yosemite Green, or Tahoe Blue.
The models won’t come cheap with the base version going for $185,000 while the more powerful one will set buyers back $210,000. The steep prices are the result of the import duties applied to the models exported from the UK.