Land Rover may not be producing the Defender anymore, but that doesn't mean the British classic is dead.
T3 recently spent time behind the wheel of an awesome 'Classic' Twisted Defender 110 Utility.
Twisted, based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, bought some of last Defenders to roll off Land Rover's production line, and will slowly be, err, twisting (we believe that's the right verb) them in stages over the next few years.
Every Twisted Defender is individual, the brand's customers include Jamie Oliver, Tony Hawk and overseas royalty, but the Classic range distils the most popular enhancements into a single vehicle, and will be ready to drive away when complete.
Here are 6 reasons we think you'll definitely want one:
1. It's the Defender, but more refined
Twisted isn't Pimp My Ride with Xzibit/Tim Westwood, it's not going to add carbon fibre wing and paint flames down the side, it's more tasteful than that.
Twisted is all about paying homage to the legend of the vehicle, while improving its overall function and performance.
With the Classic range, exterior tweeks are minimal, and would be invisible to the uninitiated. Twisted has spent most of the time on stuff you can't see, but you can really feel while driving it.
The vehicle I drove features the performance kit, which includes an ECU remap to 170BHP, Twisted Exhaust System, and Progressive Suspension System.
This, obviously, doesn't suddenly turn it into a Range Rover Sport, but it does make it much more pleasant to drive on the road, with much less lean when cornering.
Outside you've got design details finished in gloss black, upgraded wiper blades, LED headlights, Twisted billet door handles, and, most importantly for British owners, a chassis undersealing treatment to protect your car from the elements.
Inside, again with the Classic range, Twisted has opted to keep its modifications simple. While you can opt to have Recaro bucket seats installed, the Classic has half leather trimmed seats, a Momo steering wheel, Alcantara headlining, leather trim on the dash, and a double din centre console with a Kenwood infotainment system installed.
All of these small modifications have a big impact when put together, but the Twisted remains true to the original vehicle.
2. It's completely personalised
Twisted won't make a Defender, they'll make your Defender.
From paintjobs (which is actually one of the most expensive services), to specific performance parts and interior choices, the vehicle can be tailored exactly to what you want.
If you already know what you want, you can walk straight in an order one, or, if you're a little more uncertain, you can sit down with Twisted's salespeople and design your vehicle over weeks or months.
3. It makes the Defender easier to live with
As we previously mentioned, the changes made by Twisted won't suddenly turn it into a Range Rover Sport, but it does make it much more pleasant to drive on the road.
There's much less lean when cornering, the engine doesn't need to be worked as hard, and, thanks to extensive soundproofing, you can have a normal conversation in one.
Yes, it's still just as capable off-road, but it's now equally at home on the motorway now as well.
A reversing camera tucked under the spare wheel made parking easier, and the built-in sat nav means you don't need to stick one onto the windscreen.
We were so surprised at what a difference all of these changes make.
4. There's so much passion behind it
As a child, Fawcett was surrounded by Land Rover vehicles. His father had been involved in the sale and repair of this t since the 1970s and ran a 4×4 off-road driving centre.
As a child, Fawcett was surrounded by Land Rover vehicles. His father had been involved in the sale and repair of them since the 1970s and ran a 4×4 off-road driving centre.
As early as 11 years old, Charles had his own Series 3 pick-up - one that didn’t always run!
And when you’re up to your knees in mud in a North Yorkshire field, with a machine that won’t move, there’s only one course of action – work out how to fix it.
Charles joined the family business in 1995 and in 2000 set up Twisted as a side operation, offering tuning and performance enhancements for the then range of Land Rover 200/300tdi Defender, Discovery and Range Rover.
Demand for expert advice and quality modification quickly grew, and within seven years Twisted became a full-time operation. The team quickly switched to focus solely on the Defender.
For a quick visit to the HQ in Thirsk, you can tell everyone that works there is passionate about the brand.
5. You can bring your own Defender in, or get a new one
There are three ways you can buy a Twisted Defender, new, used, or BYO.
Twisted have a (limited) stock of new Defenders which can entirely be specified to your individual choice.
Or, you could buy a used vehicle from Twisted, with vehicles available on its website.
The final option is Twisted's Drive In/Drive Out service. Here you'll bring own personal, trusty, Defender in, and they'll twist it for you.
This can range from small jobs, such as wheels and tyres, or soundproofing, through to a full restoration and re-build of your vehicle including new engine V8 Petrol engine.
6. They're just immensely cool
Check out the video featuring brand ambassador Sean Conway above and tell us you don't want one, it's impossible.
Image credits: The Automotive Collection
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