Pretty soon those in the market for a classic Land Rover Defender with a battery electric powertrain will have some choices, because new contenders keep entering the field. The latest Defender to receive a battery and an electric motor was created by E.C.D. Automotive Design and Electric Classic Cars in the U.K. that teamed up to give the old Defender Tesla power.
That’s right, buyers will be able to enjoy 450 hp in a classic Defender 110 created by the two companies: one that specializes in custom Land Rovers and one that specializes in electric conversions of classic cars. And those seeking a little more power will be able to opt for a 600-hp output. The battery (or batteries perhaps) underneath has been quoted to hold 100 kWh of juice, which will give the 110 a range between 125 and 250 miles, “depending on the vehicle and usage.”
The four-door Land Rover Defender 110 is what the two companies plan to offer, but the demo vehicle in these photos is, of course, the two-door Defender 90.
The company hasn’t shared specifics on the battery or batteries, but the 450-hp version has been promised a 0 to 60 launch time of 5.5 seconds. Whatever is under the hood of the electric Defender, as seen in the video below, looks very futuristic. A view of the chassis below suggests that two batteries actually hold the juice, positioned on top of each axle, while the Tesla motor sits midships.
“E.C.D. experts worked diligently to ensure the electric drivetrain would reach its full potential in a Defender, given these heavier vehicles are less than aerodynamic,” the company says. “The resulting electric setup is versatile, retaining the vehicle’s excellent on and off-road capabilities, with superb power when needed. These vehicles also feature downhill assist and traction control, an anti-lock braking system, regenerative braking and a fully upgraded driveline to cope with the power. The electric parking brake system adds a luxury feel as an alternative to the mechanical handbrake, and the vehicle’s clutch pedal, gear stick and hi/lo ratio selector make the interior space feel a little roomier.”
The companies plan for the electric models to be 50-state compliant, unlike recent gas- or diesel-engined models from the past 25 years which still cannot be imported. They also plan to offer a wide range of custom interior options. The only thing missing at the moment is a starting price. Since every build will be unique, the price range will differ based on what kind of Defender you want. And the electric drivetrain, the companies promise, won’t be confined solely to the Defender platform, but also offered on classic Range Rover models and Series Land Rovers.
“At E.C.D., every build is started and completed in-house at its 45,000 square foot facility. Customers don’t buy their dream car – they build it – customizing every aspect of the vehicle, alongside E.C.D.’s 47 true craftsmen and technicians over 2,200 hours. E.C.D. completes approximately 60 custom defenders each year, building atop a rich history by restoring classic vehicles with integrity. Each build maintains its true heritage, look and feel, whilst thoroughly modernizing through subtle, luxurious enhancements and a modern, powerful and reliable drivetrain.”
We have to admit, we’re more intrigued by the prospect of an electric classic Range Rover because such conversions, while not cheap, may effectively keep a number of those old Rangies on the road. And lest we forget, in gasoline form they were never been known for reliability.
So the EV Conversion Industrial Complex, we suspect, may come to the rescue of a great many classic British cars, provided they have a wealthy benefactor to commission such EV conversions.
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