The latest super-Defender comes from England-based JE MotorWorks. Called Zulu², it stands out as the most (and, arguably, the only) track-capable Defender ever built thanks to a long list of serious performance-focused upgrades.
JE has tossed out the Defender’s stock 130-horsepower 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine and replaced it with a Jaguar-sourced 4.7-liter V8 that uses a large supercharger to make 475 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque. The eight-cylinder is bolted to a custom-built six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, though the Zulu² surprisingly retains the Defender’s stock four-wheel drive system.
Performance figures have not been published yet. However, JE promises the Defender has been further upgraded with sway bars on both ends, stiffer shock absorbers sourced from Fox Racing and shorter springs. AP Racing brakes all around keep the additional ponies in check.
Visually, the Zulu² stands out from a regular Defender thanks to LED lights, 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped by performance tires, side vents cut into both fenders, and a machined aluminum grille. A pair of extra air vents up front feed additional air into the V8 engine.
Inside, JE has done its best to mask the Defender’s utilitarian roots by adding a three-spoke steering wheel, an electronic parking brake, full carpeting, leather upholstery on the doors, the dashboard and the door panels as well as additional sound-proofing material. Every Zulu² comes with a numbered plaque on the dash.
If a stock Zulu² isn’t unique enough, buyers can choose additional features from a list of options that includes Recaro bucket seats, a soft top conversion, real carbon fiber trim and side exhaust pipes.
Just 25 examples of the Zulu² will be hand-built in England. Pricing information hasn’t been announced.