Say hello to the E-Lander: a 600-hp electric Defender.
ECD Automotive produces some of the world's best Land Rover Defender models, most of which come powered by a 6.2-liter Chevrolet V8 engine. The company sometimes steps just outside of the box with a new glass roof, diesel powertrain, or unique styling, but most of the ECD Defenders follow a pretty clear pattern. Until now, that is. The US-based Defender specialist has now teamed up with UK-based Electric Classic Cars to build the first Tesla-powered Land Rover.
In a teaser video, ECD and ECC show the fruits of their partnership, a new electric truck called the E-Lander. "After many conversations and meetings with Electric Classic Cars, we soon realized they are at the absolute top of the game and a superb fit for working with ECD," said founder Tom Humble. "As with everything ECD, custom and quality are at the forefront of everything we do. We cannot wait to release the electric Defender as an environmentally-friendly version of an iconic vehicle, continuing its legacy with zero-emissions."
The Tesla-powered Defender offers 450 horsepower, which is about 20 hp more than you get from one of ECD's LS3-powered models. ECD says the electric truck takes four seconds to hit 60 mph, but for those who wish to go even quicker, a 600-hp option will be offered with a blistering three-second 0-60 mph time. With direct drive replacing the need for a transmission, owners only need to press a button to get their electric Defender going. ECD estimates the range will be between 125 to 250 miles depending on the specific vehicle configuration and usage.
On the move, the electric Defender retains its off-road prowess. The truck is upgraded with a downhill assist, traction control, anti-lock braking, regenerative braking, and a fully upgraded driveline to cope with the massive electrified power. And with a new electric parking brake system, ECD's designers could free up space in the cabin by eliminating the mechanical handbrake, clutch pedal, gear lever, and hi/lo ratio selector.
The first ECD/ECC electric Defender will begin construction in October 2020, with completion slated for December. This new electric Defender will have competition in the form of the Twisted NAS-E 4x4, which will use its own EV setup with less power than the Tesla motor. ECD has yet to release pricing for the electric Defender but notes that this drivetrain can be ordered on any of the company's models, including the Range Rover classic and Series models. The drivetrain is 50-state compliant, meaning it will be available across the US.