What’s the story?
It starts as a black smudge on the horizon and then grows, slowly coming into focus as a Land Rover. Its cry is a guttural, almost animal growl increasing as it comes closer. Then in a final blast of noise and burned diesel it’s past, leaving open mouths and litter dancing in the gutter.
There’s no doubt this Defender is quick, mighty quick – but it should be, because it boasts 190bhp and a monumental 354lb ft of torque.
Under the bonnet the Defender is a riot of performance parts. Much of the under-bonnet plastic has gone too, replaced by smart alloy tanks for coolant reservoir and power-steering fluid; they’re not critical to performance, but are nice to have anyway.
‘With all the add-ons I think it surprises a few people how quick it can go. Its 0-60mph time is about 8 seconds compared to the standard 14.7 seconds,’ reckons Scott.
The suspension is an interesting compromise between on-road and off-road performance, while the exterior gets you guessing. Is that standard or isn’t it? In fact most of it isn’t, including big-feature items such as the front tubular winch bumper and the glassfibre bonnet.
Our favourite bit?
We love the Sparco seats and RDX steering wheel and keep spotting little details such as the blue LED dashboard lights and a plethora of red components making up the black and red interior theme. The Pioneer stereo is a stunner but it does create a bit of a dilemma: do you listen to that or the delicious, fruity exhaust note?
And the verdict from LRO writer Jerry Thurston?
Looking at Scott Starkey’s gleaming white truck it’s hard to imagine that nine months ago this Defender was in a high-speed motorway accident that deemed it a write-off. And Scott has further, even bigger, plans for his Defender: it’s going to be a monster.
Model: 2005 Defender Td5
Engine: 2495cc diesel
Torque: 354lb ft 0-60mph: 8-8.5sec (owner’s figure)
Transmission: Uprated Ashcroft gearbox, 1.2:1 transfer box, Ashcroft halfshafts and CVs, KAM pegged diffs
Axles: Rear standard uprated, front KAM HD
Wheels/tyres: 16in Challenger steel wheels, 285/75 R16 BF Goodrich Mud-Terrains