The ICON Defender Makes Bare-Bones Driving Look so Good
There are many ways to fall in love with the Land Rover Defender. One can appreciate its rugged dependability, its barn-door engineering, or perhaps the unforgettable styling. ICON seems to capture every single one in its new creation – the ICON D90. The renowned Californian 4x4 shop has turned its interest from resto-modding Toyota FJ40s and Ford Broncos to have a crack at the Land Rover Defender, Britain’s old-as-dirt workhorse. The original Series I Land Rover was born after engineers combined the 4x4 capability of the Willys Jeep with the agricultural personality of a tractor in the days following WWII. Thanks to its lightweight aluminum body and rugged 4x4 chassis, it was an instant success, which eventually spawned the Defender in 1983. PHOTOS: Check out the 2015 Defender Black Pack
The team over at ICON produced a true throwback in the D90, but added some typical company flair to the recipe. Underneath the hood, ICON has managed to fit a burly 6.2L LS3 V8, good for over 400-horsepower. The newly transplanted heart feeds power to a four-speed automatic transmission with an Atlas II transfer case. Despite the major drivetrain overhaul, the Defender is said to be just as capable as ever in the rough stuff.
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To make sure of this, ICON set to work on bulking up the chassis. The D90 features Dynatrac axles, Twisted UK suspension components, and heavy-duty Bilstein shocks. Modern footwear has been added too. The Defender now wears 17” Hutchinson wheels with 285/70 BFGoodrich ATKO rubber
Inside, the D90 receives the look and feel of its Series I forefather. It’s a delicate balance to strike between changing too much or too little of that unforgettable Land Rover character – a balance that ICON has once again maintained perfectly.
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