What is it?
The Twisted French Edition Land Rover Defender 110 County Station Wagon. Or, to put it another way, a new long-wheelbase Landie, modified by a little-known company in North Yorkshire, to the tune of £80,000.
Why spend that much on something intended for battering across fields and up wintery hillsides, and to be used and generally abused? Because the Twisted Defender is a bit of a rarity among tuning-house makeovers: an unpretentious and entirely justified improvement on a creditable but undeniably flawed standard product.
What Twisted does, in essence, is address the yawning gap between the appealing theory and not-so-appealing practice of real-world Defender ownership. There are plenty of reasons you might like the idea of owning a proper Land Rover, after all. Whether or not you buy into the gentrified, anti-consumerist, singularly English image that the car has come to project, anyone can see the appeal of a full-sized 4x4 with such abundant practicality. One that’s cheap and easy to maintain, super-durable, holds its value better than most, and that really will go pretty much anywhere you point it – come what may.
For so many, it’s the reality of owning one of these old-school off-roaders that spoils the picture. Defenders are everything that large modern SUVs aren’t: they’re not luxurious, nor refined, nor comfortable. And though they can be fun, they’re never particularly easy to drive.
Through Twisted, you can put a few new-age manners on your old-fashioned Landie. The firm has been offering packaged upgrades for Defenders since 2007, but has recently released several of its own modified ‘editions’ of the car. They’re available from about £45k, and amount to much more than a paint job, an ECU re-flash and some bull-bars.