What is it?
The next step in Twisted’s slow-burning plan to transform the once humble Defender into a do-it-all upmarket offering.
Previously - leaving its brilliant V8-engined offering aside - the Yorkshire-based tuner had contented itself with modifying Land Rover’s established lineup; now it intends to offer the bigger 3.2-litre TDCi from the Ford Ranger (and Transit) as a swap-out option.
As standard, the new-to-Defender five-cylinder unit develops around 197bhp and 347lb ft of torque; once Twisted has finished bolting on a new exhaust, intercooler and remapping the ECU, the power peaks at beyond 230bhp and, more importantly, provides the 110 prototype driven here with 528lb ft of low-down pluck.
Not only does this cleave the standard Defender's 0-62mph time roughly in two, it also makes the car a supremely capable tow bar mount. No surprises there perhaps, considering Land Rover’s own sterling reputation, but the 3.2-litre engine’s extra heave is said to make considerably lighter work of the 3500kg towing limit - a serious attraction to anyone who’s ever spent time hauling something down a motorway behind a Defender.
Although an evolution of the car’s current 2.2-litre, four-cylinder TDCi, Twisted has had to find room for the larger engine, and its six-speed manual gearbox. Its taller dimensions mean it’s a much tighter fit between bonnet and axle, and the greater weight rules out the use of the brand’s preferred progressive springs (although they'll be available eventually).
Instead the Twisted prototype gets a more conventional heavy-duty set-up at the front, albeit one complemented by Bilstein dampers and six-pot brakes.