The conversion should be available to customers by the end of the year.

A tuning company based in Coventry, Great Britain, is working to adapt a powerful turbocharged engine for the Land Rover Defender. Production of the offroader ended in January last year, but JE Motorworks, a Land Rover-focused studio, wants to offer owners a chance to make their vehicles more eco-friendly and, as a consequence, way more powerful.

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The Defender was fitted exclusively with a 2.2-litre diesel engine. The tuning specialists will replace the four-cylinder unit with the 2.3-litre EcoBoost that Ford is currently offering for the Mustang and Focus RS sports models. It produces 340 horsepower.

“We are seeing increasing rules and regulations restricting the use of diesel-engined vehicles in certain environments, particularly in cities, all over the world,” JE chairman and chief engineer Jonathan Douglas explained to Autocar. “We expect many Defender owners will see a modern, direct-injection petrol engine as a good, more environment-friendly solution."

JE Motorworks is currently modifying the engine in order to retain the original character of the Defender. Simply said, don’t expect the boxy SUV to make donuts, but to “perform in a more tractor-like fashion while maintaining healthy emissions figures.” While nothing is final yet, the company plans to offer its conversion with either a manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

JE Motorworks Land Rover Defender
JE Motorworks Land Rover Defender

According to preliminary calculations, JE Motorworks will complete the development process by the end of 2017 and offer the conversion to customers shortly after. The expected price is roughly £20,000 (approx. $35,000 CAD) for the manual version, while the automatic will be slightly more expensive.

Source: JE Motorworks via Autocar

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