The Land Rover Defender is an icon without any doubt. A rich heritage combined with amazing off-road capabilities make it a favorite among off-road enthusiasts and SUV lovers alike. It is also widely regarded as a customization canvas for various custom houses. One such customization giant is E.C.D. automotive design, also known as East Coast Defenders. As the name suggests, they swing their magic wand primarily around Land Rover Defenders. Engine swaps being one of the major performance upgrades. We have witnessed some pretty amazing builds from their end but this time around, they have created something else entirely. They have swapped in a Tesla propulsion system in a Defender!
Defender’s heritage looks and off-road capabilities coupled with Tesla’s electric motor makes it one of the most desirable builds, creating a unique SUV experience. They are renowned for restoring classic Defenders with modern technologies and potent, gasoline-powered powertrains. Their main choice of weapons surround V6 and V8 engines sourced from other manufacturers. But this time around, they have done away with the pops and crackles of a V8 with something more silent in the form of 100kWh electric motor sourced from Tesla.
The powertrain from Tesla enables it to run 220 miles (350 km) while clocking some respectable performance figures. They claim that it can do a 0-100km/h sprint time in roughly 5.5 seconds. They are offering this engine swap for classic Defender 110 models. In the current avatar, Defender continues to be powered by an ICE unit — 2.0-litre 296bhp/400Nm turbo petrol.
Applying common logic here, this swap will make the Defender even more capable off-road, all thanks to its ability to deliver full torque output from the very outset. The customizations aren’t restrained under the hood as ECD has also given the interiors a rather plush touch with the inclusion of diamond-stitched seats, stadium-style second-row seating, a modern-day infotainment system, and bench seats in the back.
It might not have the aural drama rest of the builds by ECD boast of, but it has some major advantages over the conventional IC engines. Being environment friendly and that mammoth torque available instantly, to name a few.