This might be the ultimate Land Rover Defender restomod.
The all-new Land Rover Defender is due to go on sale this year, but if you prefer the classic Defender's styling, UK-based Arkonik has unveiled a stunning new restomod project based on a 1983 Land Rover Defender. Based in Bath, UK, Arkonik has been restoring Land Rover Defenders for over 12 years and has exported over 270 to North America. This year, the company has expanded its operations by opening a new facility in Charleston, USA. And to celebrate, Arkonik has presented its first-ever Land Rover Defender restomod based on the first Defender owned by the company's founder, Andy Hayes.
Hundreds of hours were poured into the stunning restomod project, which Arkonik claims is its most powerful and most technically-advanced vehicle it has ever built. Hayes' first Land Rover Defender was a 1983 Defender V8 that was bought in 2006. 12 years later, it's been given a new lease of life.
Arkonik's first Land Rover Defender restomod, dubbed 'UJO' as a reference to the original Defender's license plate, features shimmering bodywork in a metallic variation of Stratos Blue, complemented with a Cream Pearl Roof and topside panels to match the original color scheme. Other exterior touches include original style decals, silver cappings, and a 1980s spec padlocked fuel cap.
To upgrade the vintage Defender to modern standards, Arkonik has added billet aluminium handles and LED headlights to improve visibility. The UJO rides on 18-inch alloys wrapped in Cooper Discoverer AT3 tires, while Tarox six piston brake calipers with grooved discs provide extra stopping power. The suspension has been upgraded with Bilstein gas dampers, Superpro polyurethane bushes, anti-roll bars, and lowered springs that bring the Defender one inch closer to the ground.
Under the hood is a 6.2-liter Corvette LS3 engine producing 430 horsepower, enabling the Land Rover Defender to hit 0-62 mph in under six seconds. Power is sent through a six-speed automatic transmission that delivers seamless acceleration.
Inside, the Land Rover Defender's modernized interior is fitted with soft-touch upholstery, woven carpeting Alcantara headlining, and ambient lighting. Modular front seats and high-back seats in the middle row are trimmed in Autograin Burnt Oak leather with tweed inserts, while the load area includes leather and tweed trimmed bench seats. In terms of tech, the UJO comes equipped with wireless phone charging, USB ports, a GPS tracker, alarm system, central locking, and front and rear cameras. Comfort features include heated seats, electric windows, air conditioning, and a heated steering wheel. Retracting sidesteps provide easy access to the cabin.
Arkonik tells us the UJO was built as a one-off project that cost roughly $250,000, but the company offers similar upgrades for classic Defenders. The company builds 72 vehicles a year.