JE Motorworks converts Land Rover Defender to Ford Ecoboost power
Boosted 2.3 four-pot can be added to original Defender for £17,400
The West Midlands company, which has produced reimagined versions of the Defender such as the V8-powered Zulu2, first revealed to Autocar that it was working on an Ecoboost conversion in June last year. The firm has now completed a shakedown with a development car and is taking orders from customers.
Ford’s 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, which is used in various performance cars such as the Focus RS and Mustang, produces up to 305bhp and 319lb ft of torque in the Defender. JE has altered the motor so it runs in a way more suited to the iconic SUV.
The Ecoboost engine is significantly more potent than the Ford Transit-sourced 2.2 diesel used in the discontinued Defender (it came with 122bhp and 266lb ft). It is also claimed to be much cleaner — although no emissions figures have yet been released. The engine produces as little as 175g/km of CO2 in other cars, significantly undercutting the 266g/km output in the final Defender.
JE boss Jonathan Douglas told Autocar last year that “increasing rules and regulations restricting the use of diesel-engined vehicles in certain environments, particularly in cities” had spurred his company on to produce a more eco-friendly option. He expected “many Defender owners [to] see a modern, direct-injection petrol engine as a good, more environment-friendly solution”.
After the recent first test for the Ecoboost-powered Defender, Douglas said the unit “has a feel of both belonging in the car and being discreetly beyond expectation”. He admitted that “the character is completely different from the diesels and V8s”, but said it “will appeal to audiences and markets who consider economy and emissions — relative, of course, in something as big as a Defender — to be of importance”.
Prices for the Ecoboost conversion start at £17,400, which includes money back to the customer for their car’s original engine. Buyers wanting to trade the Defender’s standard five-speed manual gearbox for a Ford Tiptronic six-speed automatic can expect to pay £27,000.
Like with its other Land Rover-based products, JE offers further opportunities for customisation. The company can add uprated brakes, suspension and other mechanical upgrades, as well as design changes.
Source: Autocar Online