Twisted Automotive, the British Land Rover Defender-making company, is entering the United States. Previously, the company built all of its Defenders in Yorkshire and shipped them out across the world. By taking up residence in the U.S., it hopes to be able to sell and market its line of wildly expensive and awesome Defenders to folks on this side of the pond.
Americans will be able to buy a number of Twisted Defenders initially, including the 90 Soft-Top, 90 Station Wagon, 110 Double Cab, 130 Pickup and a future all-electric model. All of these (besides the electric one) will be sold with an American V8 engine. Twisted offers folks the choice between GM’s LT1 and LT4 V8s, naming it the NA-V8 lineup. It does make older Defenders that are more restoration than resto-mod in case that’s more your style.
However, if you want the 455 horsepower from the LT1, or the 650 horsepower from the LT4, you should aim at one of those models listed above. The LT1 can be paired with a five-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the LT4 is auto-only. Twisted says that if 650 horsepower isn’t enough, its engineers will extract even more power out of the engine upon request. All it takes is money.
The price for one of these Twisted NA-V8 Defenders starts at $250,000. Of course, the entire SUV has been worked over for that price. You get a new off-road suspension with extra travel, larger brakes, upgraded differentials and driveline componentry, dual-mode exhaust, a tech-packed interior and tons of modern amenities. All this, while being wrapped in the traditional Defender armor.
Every Twisted Defender also comes with a warranty, which is bumper-to-bumper for two years or 20,000 miles. The GM powertrain has its own separate warranty for two years or 50,000 miles. Twisted says that it’s offering test drives in the United States starting this month. If you drive one and like it, the lead time from order placement to delivery is about six months, according to Twisted. Part of the vehicle is assembled in England, and it’s finished in the United States. It’s also extremely exclusive. Twisted says it will be able to put together 200 of them over the next five years.