Coventry engineering company JE Motorworks is working on a 2.3-litre Ford Ecoboost engine conversion for Land Rover Defenders in a bid to cut emissions.
This is significantly lower than the 266g/km of CO2 that the most efficient Land Rover Defender can manage - it was fitted exclusively with a 2.2-litre diesel engine until production of the model ended in 2016.
JE chairman and chief engineer Jonathan Douglas cites growing pressure for vehicles to be more environmentally friendly and the prospect of bans for high-emitting vehicles in some global regions as key reasons for why customers may want the engine conversion.
“We are seeing increasing rules and regulations restricting the use of diesel-engined vehicles in certain environments, particularly in cities, all over the world,” he said. “We expect many Defender owners will see a modern, direct-injection petrol engine as a good, more environment-friendly solution."
JE will modify the Ford engines in order to retain the original character of the Defender, with Douglas explaining that the 2.3-litre unit will have to “perform in a more tractor-like fashion while maintaining healthy emissions figures”.
The firm will also offer the engine with a manual or automatic JE six-speed Tiptronic gearbox. It expects pricing for the conversion with a manual gearbox to be less than £20,000. The automatic will cost slightly more due to the additional complexity of mating it to the engine.
JE intends to complete the engineering process and offer the conversion to customers before the end of 2017.
The company has a long history of re-engineering and modifying Land Rover products, with a recent example being its Zulu2 110. That model features a bored-up, 475bhp 4.7-litre version of JLR's supercharged last-generation 4.2-litre V8.