Hot or Not? A 450hp Tesla-powered Defender

ByUnsealed 4X4January 19, 2021
Hot or Not? A 450hp Tesla-powered Defender

For this week’s Hot or Not we bring you a 450hp Tesla-powered Defender EV and ask the question, can such a vehicle ever be a practical 4X4?

That’s right! This yellow shorty is a 450hp Tesla-powered Defender that’s claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in less than five seconds. And if that ain’t enough grunt for you, there’s rumoured to be a 600hp version in the works that’ll do 0-100 in around three seconds! That is blindingly fast!

So, whaddayareckon? is it Hot or Not?

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The Tesla-powered Defender is the brainchild of Electric Classic Cars (ECC) in Wales and as well as providing scintillating on-road performance, the E-Lander, as it’s called, has also been designed to provide the off-road capability the Defender is renowned for.

The electric motor is out of a Tesla Model S and it produces a claimed 335kW of power and 450Nm of torque. In the E-Lander, the motor has been turned 90-degrees and centrally mounted so it can distribute power to both the front and rear axles, while a direct drive system means there’s no gearbox to mess around with; just push on the accelerator and go.

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To cope with the power upgrade, the driveline has been upgraded with Ashcroft heavy-duty CV joints and limited-slip diffs, and the rear propshaft has been extended 8-inches. As the owner of this particular example does more on-road driving than off-road work, it has been lowered two-inches through the fitment of stiffer, shorter Eibach springs mated to Bilstein dampers, with heavy-duty anti-roll bars fitted front and rear.

Leaving a standard 2015 Defender (on which this vehicle is based) in its wake, the top speed the E-Lander is a claimed 195km/h! But what about the range, I hear you ask? ECC reckons it’s do around 160-240km between recharges on the standard 85kWh (65kWh useable) battery pack. If you need more range, a 200kWh battery pack can be optioned. Those batteries are sealed, by the way, and ECC says this means the E-Lander can still handle water crossings. The batteries can be charged up to 80 per cent in three hours using a 22kW AC 3-phase power source.

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How much? This E-Lander cost £152,000 (A$270k) to build, but ECC says conversions start from £50,000 (A$90,000) depending on spec… plus the price of a donor vehicle!

Even with the optional 200kWh battery pack, you wouldn’t be able to rely on the E-Lander as a practical long-distance tourer, but for shorter off-road getaways it could be an effective option… especially for those who want to give new life to older rigs.

Want to know more? Check out this comprehensive video review produced by The Late Brake Show: