The Land Rover Defender has carved out decades of faithful service in some of the world’s harshest environments. But for all of Land Rover’s rugged attributes, speed and power have never among them.
Until Now. Wildcat Automotive has managed to shoehorn the Chevy’s 6.2 liter LS3 small block V8 from the Corvette into the engine compartment of the Land Rover. The result is complete and utter on/off-road madness in the form of 430 horsepower.
Even better, Wildcat will gladly bump that figure to 550 horsepower with additional performance upgrades.
For many years, Bowler Motorsports have been making high performance Bowler Wildcat Land Rover Defenders geared for the rigors of the gruelling Dakar Rally. The Bowler racers turned out to be a remarkable success.
In fact, “Top Gear” host Richard Hammond once proclaimed — while behind the wheel of a Wildcat — that the car made him feel like a “racing god.”
Now that Bowler has turned over production of the modified Defenders to Wildcat Automotive, the highly rated off-roader will live on. This is in spite of Jaguar Land Rover’s decision to discontinue (for now, at least) the production of new Defenders.
For of the racing Wildcat’s prowess in competition, it’s still a bit too raw for everyday motoring. As a result, road-going Wildcats will be quite a bit tamer. The will have all of the limited luxuries available on production Defenders, including a 6-speed automatic transmission to channel all of the V8 power to the SUV’s 4-wheel-drive system.
Wildcat Automotive has also upgraded the Defender’s suspension, wheels and brakes to handle the truck’s newfound power and muscle-car speed. To top it all off, there’s a new exhaust, which sounds nothing short of intoxicating.
The only downside: Land Rover Defenders can no longer be imported legally into the US. But if you are one of the lucky folks in America with a Defender in the garage, go for it!
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