Attack is the best form of Defender: meet the 475bhp Zulu²

Published: 20 August 2015

Hot-rodded Defender with 475bhp
25 to be built, choice of wheelbase
You’ll need to stump up £149,500 

The Land Rover Defender might be about to call time on its incredible 67-year production innings, but that hasn’t stopped go-faster Landie specialists JE MotorWorks from preparing a new mutant ‘Super Defender’.

This is the Zulu², an evolution of the Coventry-based outfit’s existing Super Defender Zulu.

What makes the Zulu² tick?

A supercharged Jaguar Land Rover V8 with no less than 475bhp and 479lb ft, running through a six-speed automatic gearbox. That’s a reasonable improvement over the basic Defender’s 120bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel.

Sensibly, there are various suspension and brake upgrades to go with the extra power, along with a set of interior upgrades that include swapping the Defender’s fly-off handbrake for an electronic one.

‘If it rotates or moves, then we’ve modified, enhanced or improved it,’ says JE MotorWorks’ David O’Conner. ‘We know how to make Defenders go, stop, steer and ride beyond the wildest dreams of most standard Defender drivers – but it’s the customers who specify the way they want them to look inside and out.’

What type of Defender is the Zulu² based on?

Any you like, actually. JE plans to build no more than 25 examples, which can be based on any Defender derivative, in left- or right-hand drive. The orange machine pictured is a 90-wheelbase development car, but the first production Zulu² is a 110 Station Wagon. Partway through construction at the moment, it’s due to be finished in September 2015.

Something tells me the Zulu² isn’t particularly cheap?

You guess right. Prices start at £149,500 (or £125,000 plus local taxes if you’re overseas).

You can trim a little from the price by providing your own Land Rover for ‘Zulu-isation’, with a sliding scale of prices depending on the car’s condition and what exactly what you’d like doing to it.

Two slightly less powerful, but no less wonderful, Defenders star in CAR magazine’s 25 British Heroes special in the new September issue. Ben Oliver drives the original Series I and the final Heritage Edition as part of CAR’s #BritCarBucketList. Click here for a preview.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer