282bhp Land Rover Defender-based limited-run car was conceived by ex-Lotus and Formula 1 manager Dany Bahar’s design company

53 Bespoke Land Rover Defenders are to be created by a Modena-based design house, in collaboration with famed Land Rover tuner JE Motorworks.

At the heart of the reimagined Defender is a 282bhp, 325lb ft Rover V8 with 6-speed semi-automatic gearbox, with upgraded driveshafts, differentials and a bespoke exhaust system. In addition to a two-inch suspension lift, bespoke wheels and off-roading kit like sidesteps, roofbars and winches have also been fitted.

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The interior and exterior work, which renders the car almost unrecognisable on the inside from the Defender’s standard look, will be carried out in Modena, by Ares Design; the design house founded by former Formula 1 senior manager and Lotus boss, Dany Bahar.

The inside will be far more luxurious than the utilitarian original interior of the Defender, with the use of aluminium, carbon fibre, hand-crafted wood and the finest Italian leather throughout.

“Every aspect of the modification is critical to us. Mechanical engineering capability of this high standard is extremely hard to find but perhaps we could have guessed such a capability would be located close to the original home of the Defender,” said Bahar.

Jonathan Douglas, JE’s chief engineer, said: "We've been talking and developing ideas and designs with Ares for nearly a year. The brief was effectively what would a Jaguar Land Rover SVO (Special Vehicles Operations) version of the Land Rover Defender look like - and then improve on it.

Work has already begun on the first examples, although it’s not yet known when the first batch will be complete, or how much they will be sold for. 

2016 JE Motorworks Zulu2 110 review

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Our Verdict

Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is an institution and unbeatable off road, if crude on it

Join the debate


10 April 2017
Also known as a Range Rover.

10 April 2017
Remember Lotus Dany?




10 April 2017
I love Defenders (had three) but I fail to see the point. I assume that roof bar is some sort of rollover bar - a necessity in any Defender, lest you be killed in ANY rollover. There's also the cramped driving position, the location of the handbrake, the knocking of your elbow on the pillar, the rather harsh ride and poor handling. So as long as all these points are addressed then...wait a minute, there's a new Defender coming out in two years with all these points (and more) taken care of, so I really fail to see the point. Unless, of course, the rumours that JLR intend to drop production of the new Defender, are true.


10 April 2017
Kitch for gits

10 April 2017
For so long as they can shift G Class for £150k there is scope to tweak the Defender to infinity and up the price accordingly. Same, in theory, with the Jeep Wrangler. They don't need very many obscenely vulgar and rich yobs to succeed.

10 April 2017
'Ex Formula 1 Manager'. Really? I seem to recall he was a brand manager at Ferrari SPA. And then of course, Jim, he controversially ran Lotus. How can you possibly write about the man and not mention this? Bizarrely evasive.

10 April 2017
Perhaps there's a legal restriction (inserted by Lotus) that the name Dany Bahar and Lotus can't be used in the same article.

10 April 2017
"Ex Formula 1 Manager", more sloppy poorly researched journalism ! What is it about this man that Autocar seem to want to protect ? Remember Cropely's breathtakingly sycophantic articles about him when he was "running" Lotus ( further into the ground ), Cringeworthy.

10 April 2017
This has winner written all over it. Everything he touches turns into gold.

11 April 2017
Holy hyperbole Bahar!


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