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by Jay Traugott
Land Rover's most rugged model seems to get swankier and swankier every year.
It's no secret that most of Land Rover's models are designed to do anything but rove over land. Fortunately the brand's credibility as a maker of 4WD SUVs that can tackle any terrain is kept intact by the Defender, the perfect combination of ruggedness and luxury. The Defender is a capable off-roader and is no slouch in the luxury department either. That being said, there's always room for improvement in terms of outrageous luxury as these custom jobs show.
Land Rover Germany partnered with Blaser Hunting Rifles to create the 'Blaser Edition' Defender. This special edition is based on the Defender 110S E double cab and features a slew of add-ons, including an expedition roof rack, trailer hitch, grille guard, electric winch, snorkel air intake and rear spot light. The interior features seats covered in black leather (complete with green stitching) and a gun rack in the cargo area with room for five rifles and ammo. Only 60 were made, with each selling for about $61,000.
The Vilner Defender has one of the most luxurious and tasteful interiors of any SUV ever created. Ever. The Bulgarian custom shop installed wooden floors and complementary brown Napa leather-covered seats and side panels. Black Napa leather was used on the steering wheel, dashboard and center console. The final result is a Defender that's way too nice to take on safari.
London-based bespoke coachbuilder Prindiville Design teamed up with Defender tuners Alive Tuning to completely remake 25 Land Rover Defender 90 Hardtops. Prindiville Design made the rugged SUV into a WiFi hotspot complete with a 5-inch built-in LCD TV interface. Parking sensors and cameras were also added. Engine wise the 2.4-liter TDi now produces 187hp (up from 120) and 339 lb-ft of torque. The cost of all this greatness is a tidy $64,000.
Overfinch chose to eschew showy exterior upgrades in favor of luxury interior additions. Its Defender has a cabin that is covered from steering wheel to rear seat in burgundy leather. Just about the only pieces of the interior that aren't swathed in leather are the stainless steel shift knob and range selector. Swanky, thy name is the Overfinch Defender.
Garish is a great way to describe this Defender from Italy's Fuoriserie Torino. The rugged SUV has been given a shot of color in the form of teak panels covered in a bright camouflage pattern. Inconspicuous this Defender is not.