JE Motorworks offers to fit Land Rover Defenders with Ford’s 2.3-litre petrol Ecoboost unit

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.

The turbocharged petrol unit, which is used in Ford's hot models, including the Mustang and Focus RS, has up to 345bhp and outputs as little as 175g/km of CO2 in its standard state of tune.

Meeting the man behind JE Motorworks

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.

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Comments
10

2 June 2017
When I saw the headline, I was hoping the Mustang engine being referred to was the 5.0. If you're going to spend £20K, I think you're going to want something more than the Ecoboost 2.3 will provide. Maybe the 3.5 V6 Ecoboost would be more worthwhile.

While it might be a good alternative to a turbodiesel in this application, will it have any lower CO2 output than the diesel? I doubt it. What it won't do though is spew NOx and particulates, which is clearly a good thing. Worth £20K of anyone's money? Almost certainly not.

2 June 2017
Surely what's relevant in the sense of the headline is what the converted car kicks out - if it does 175 in the donor vehicle, it seems rather likely that putting it in a defender will increase it hugely. So you might be where you started from - not that I don't fancy the idea of a defender myself...

2 June 2017
If you live or work in a city then you probably do not need a Defender! Or if you do, then better to spend your 20k on a hybrid or electric second car, something that genuinely provides better environment efficiency?

2 June 2017
If it was standard fit. But adding an extra £20k to the car doesn't seem the best idea. My hopes were dashed when reading the article thinking that Land Rover were finally bringing out their Defender replacement!

2 June 2017
My 2.4 TDCi engined 90 dragged a Ford Ranger out of its axle-deep mud resting place - sideways! And with ease. The TDCi is a noisy, breathless bag of nails, but it's builders' van bullet proof and pulls like a train from 1000 rpm. Why on earth would you replace it unless you were an masochistic, urban-hipster, fashion-victim that would be better off driving almost anything but a Defender.

2 June 2017
James Dene wrote:

My 2.4 TDCi engined 90 dragged a Ford Ranger out of its axle-deep mud resting place - sideways! And with ease.

Wish I was there to see that! My dad's series III had a rope winch on the front which worked brilliantly.

2 June 2017
it seem like a pointless expensive exercise, but I am sure they will find customers, if some of the monstrosities Kahn produce sell, I am sure JE with its expertise in modifying Defenders will find people willing to buy them.

3 June 2017
OK in the UK it may be possible to change an engine and get it registered on the V5 etc etc but the companies stated motivation about the global aspect does not make sense. Most countries in Europe simply won't recognise any conversion/modification over the spec the vehicle left the factory. You pop over to Paris, you'll be judged as a high polluting diesel even if you have an electric engine..... vehicles can only be original factory specifications.

Besides that, who on earth ever bought a Defender when they supposedly had a concern for CO2 emissions???

Strange way to spend 20k if you ask me.

Fun fact: because 80%+ of the pollution any vehicle is responsible for actually get put out during production, the Defender is actually one of the LEAST polluting cars ever build due to it's long life and low replacement rate. 3 or 4 times longer usable life than average cars = no replacement needed = no pollution caused making one.

4 June 2017
einhell wrote:

OK in the UK it may be possible to change an engine and get it registered on the V5 etc etc but the companies stated motivation about the global aspect does not make sense. Most countries in Europe simply won't recognise any conversion/modification over the spec the vehicle left the factory. You pop over to Paris, you'll be judged as a high polluting diesel even if you have an electric engine..... vehicles can only be original factory specifications.

Besides that, who on earth ever bought a Defender when they supposedly had a concern for CO2 emissions???

Strange way to spend 20k if you ask me.

Fun fact: because 80%+ of the pollution any vehicle is responsible for actually get put out during production, the Defender is actually one of the LEAST polluting cars ever build due to it's long life and low replacement rate. 3 or 4 times longer usable life than average cars = no replacement needed = no pollution caused making one.

Exactly. DVLA will never formally recognise the emissions from the conversion. Totally pointless from that perspective

4 June 2017
einhell wrote:

OK in the UK it may be possible to change an engine and get it registered on the V5 etc etc but the companies stated motivation about the global aspect does not make sense. Most countries in Europe simply won't recognise any conversion/modification over the spec the vehicle left the factory. You pop over to Paris, you'll be judged as a high polluting diesel even if you have an electric engine..... vehicles can only be original factory specifications.

Besides that, who on earth ever bought a Defender when they supposedly had a concern for CO2 emissions???

Strange way to spend 20k if you ask me.

Fun fact: because 80%+ of the pollution any vehicle is responsible for actually get put out during production, the Defender is actually one of the LEAST polluting cars ever build due to it's long life and low replacement rate. 3 or 4 times longer usable life than average cars = no replacement needed = no pollution caused making one.

Exactly. DVLA will never formally recognise the emissions from the conversion. Totally pointless from that perspective

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