What is it?
When Land Rover discontinued the Defender after 67 years, Twisted Automotive purchased 240 late-build cars straight off the bat. Adapting this British icon to be faster (this one does 125mph) and far, far more luxurious (think floor-to-ceiling leather) has been the Yorkshire outfit’s stock-in-trade since 2002, and obviously without stock, there’s no trade.
Not long ago those 240 cars would have accounted for four busy years of production – the wholesale changes Twisted makes to both the oily aspects and the interior are wrought by a crack team of just ten technicians – but with customers now requesting for greater customisation, it’s now enough for six.
After that? Well, not every Defender that Twisted breathes on has to be box-fresh, and given that three in every four of these Solihull-built cars ever built are still in working condition… You get the picture. There’s also the potential to work on the all-new Defender, due in 2020 and recently seen testing on the public road, though founder Charles Fawcett is coy on the topic.
That, of course, is the future. The revised 110 Utility tested here is an exhibition of what Twisted can do for you in 2018. It uses the ultra-versatile 6.2-litre Corvette LS3 crate engine developing 430bhp, though you can have as much as 520bhp. On a ladder chassis? With worm-and-roller steering? Madness, you might justifiably ponder. But we know from previous encounters that Twisted can make this recipe work.
There are further upgrades everywhere you look (or rather, don’t look): differentials, prop- and driveshafts, a big-bore twin-exit exhaust, red-calipered Alcon brakes and, most recently, air suspension from Dutch firm VB Air. The last of those allows the body to be usefully lowered – car parks are a perma-problem from Defender owners – and Twisted’s cars also come with a full chassis underseal.