Luxury and off-road prowess combined.
East Coast Defenders out of Kissimmee, Florida knows how to buff up one of Land Rover’s most iconic SUVs. The shop’s most recent build, Project Viper, was a bonkers, 430-horsepower (320-kilowatt) off-road menace powered by a 6.2-liter LS3 V8, and equipped with everything from LED lamps on the front and rear, to 20-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto Mud Grappler tires.
The newest builds from the famed shop, though, Project Ironhorse and Project Punisher, are less about off-road aggression, and more about overall luxury. The hand-crafted Defenders are said to "extend beyond off-road capabilities into luxury performance."
Gallery: East Coast Defenders Project Ironhorse
Project Ironhorse comes equipped with a 6.4-liter Land Rover V8 that traces its roots back to the original Defenders, and comes paired to a four-speed ZF automatic transmission. A classic ROW dashboard helps keep things "old school," while new technology like a touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging brings the Defender into the 21st century.
Heated, black leather seats are paired with diamond stitched headliner and a matching wrapped dashboard in the cabin. A woodgrain steering wheel, factory-tined Masai windows, and four inward facing rear jump seats help keep the classic look… well, classic. A set of stainless steel brake and fuel lines, and stainless steel Borla exhaust tips were also fitted out back.
Gallery: East Coast Defenders Project Punisher
Contrary to Project Ironhorse, Project Punisher is considered an "ECD Custom Build.” Under the hood is a new GM LC9 V8, good for as much as 326 hp (243 kW), paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission, stainless steel Borla exhaust, and a Ron Davis radiator. The drivetrain even comes with a two-year/50,000-mile warranty from GM.
In the cabin, a Puma dashboard has been added, as has a Kenwood infotainment screen equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the exterior, new 18-inch black Sawtooth wheels come wrapped in BF Goodrich All-Terain TA K02 tires. With a full external roll cage, LED spot lamps, a full brush guard with a Warn winch, and a galvanized chassis, Project Punisher is as capable on the trail as it is the street.
"Each custom Defender that rolls out of the Rover Dome is the ultimate in custom SUV workmanship," said Tom Humble, East Coast Defender Co-owner. "What separates our team from other custom builders is our relentless pursuit of improving our workmanship and materials. Each Defender we build represents a new approach or material that furthers our place as the leader of custom Defender builds. Projects Ironhorse and Punisher are simply the latest in the evolution of our best-in- class standards."
No word on pricing or availability just yet, but don't expect to pay less than six figures for these stunning builds.
Source: East Coast Defenders