What’s the story?
If you took two Defender 110s and started from scratch to modify each to be different, you would be hard pushed to make them more dissimilar than this pair of Defender Icons built by Nene Overland. The black and silver Double Cab is a sleek road cruiser, the green-and-white Station Wagon is pure off-road warrior.
But their dissimilarity is not the only reason we’re driving these two, we’re also looking into what they both have in common... a Mercedes/Chrysler five-speed automatic gearbox conversion. Can one cog twirler possibly suit two such diverse Land Rovers?
Our Favourite Bit
After only a few hundred yards I come to the conclusion that this automatic gearbox conversion could brighten up anybody’s day.
I don’t have to think about a clutch pedal or gearlever – all I have to do is squeeze the throttle pedal and all the work is done for me. A good 70mph blast down the A1 proves that both vehicles find motorways effortless thanks to the new 1:1 transfer box ratio, too.
With both engines spinning at less than 2500rpm when running at the national speed limit, this relatively lazy cruise gives the added bonus that fuel needle stays resolutely glued to the top of the gauge, rather than plummeting towards empty in double-quick time as I had expected.
And the verdict from Jerry?
They are really very different. Take the green Heritage Icon – it is very off-road biased, standing tall on aggressive rubber with massive sill protectors-cum-rock sliders along the lower part of each flank, and a big heavyduty Hannibal roof-rack. On the front, there’s The Double Cab is far more road-oriented and more standard. It runs a TDCi 2.2 TDCi, but under the arches sit a set of 275/55 R20 Cooper Zeon LTZ tyres on I Sport 20-inch alloy wheels. Although the suspension is standard, the wheels alone change the stance of the vehicle radically.
● Model: Defender 110 Station Wagon
● Year: 2010
● Engine: 3.2 TDCi 230bhp conversion
● Transmission: Mercedes/Chrysler NAG 1/722.6, five-speed automatic
● Transfer box: 1:1
● Brakes: Tarox six-piston calipers front and rear
This feature appeared in the February 2016 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.