Land Rover’s recent model range is getting bigger and bigger every year. From the heavy off-road department, the British manufacturer has the Defender in its different forms, with a three-row version expected to join the lineup pretty soon. On the other hand, a recent report indicated there could be a new Range Rover-based off-roader, and things are really starting to get a little confusing. If you miss the simpler times, we have a new and very interesting option for you.
Meet the Function SUV, designed and produced by Black Bridge Motors, “a car company rooted in the past but engineered for the present.” In fact, Function is more of a brand than a single model, under which the manufacturer from Norwalk, Connecticut, is launching a heavily modernized version of the classic Defender that’s actually hiding Jeep Wrangler bones underneath the skin. We’ll get to the technical specifications in a second, but let’s take a look at the overall idea of the project first.
Gallery: Function Defender
The company explains its mission is to create vehicles that have ageless design and honor timeless classics, but combine the vintage looks with modern technologies for “best-in-class drivability.” Function will be focused on the most important thing in a vehicle - the driver, creating “machines that no one’s ever made so you can drive like no one ever has.”
The Defender you see in the attached gallery sits on a Jeep Wrangler JK frame, which is six inches longer and provides more room for the passengers on the second row of seats compared to a stock Defender. There’s a long list of available exterior and interior customization options, and Function builds its vehicles entirely by hand. The body of the SUV is made of aluminum.
As standard, power comes from a 6.2-liter LS3 GM-sourced engine generating 430 horsepower (316 kilowatts) mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Should you want more power, there’s a supercharged LT4 option with 650 hp (478 kW) paired with an eight-speed automatic. Both powertrain variants come with a 24-month/50,000-miles warranty.
Function says the thoroughly modernized Defender it sells has a starting price of $145,00.