If you name your car the Flying Huntsman, you’d better make it tough.
Historically, huntsmen have been people who use weapons to track and kill, and were often well-trained, resilient, and adept at outdoor survival.
English coachbuilder Kahn has released one of its own and it has the perfect starting point: the Land Rover Defender.
We first reported on the Flying Huntsman 105 Longnose in July 2014, when the automotive collaboration Ant-Kahn announced a retro roadster and the 4×4 you see above. After Afzal Kahn and Ant Amstead separated businesses, the vintage speedster became the Evanta Barchetta and the Huntsman was adopted by Kahn.
Because of its Land Rover genes and extended nose, the Flying Huntsman looks brawny. Its capable stance and rugged good looks are executed with the aesthetic harmony of a fashion designer, which makes sense because the man behind the Longnose is a couture expert himself.
The ‘105’ in the vehicle’s name is a reference to its new, 105-inch wheelbase, a 400-mm (15-inch) improvement over the Defender 90. This comes courtesy of an extra of bodywork up front, which gives the car the elongated nose of a hunting dog.
Another big improvement is the engine, because the 120-horsepower four-cylinder powering the 90 has been thrown out. In its place sits a GM-sourced 6.2-liter LS3 V8 that produces “an estimated 400-450 hp.”
With its white wall tires and unmistakable silhouette, the Flying Huntsman is a fitting tribute to the Land Rover Defender, an off-road legend that’s just about run its course.
“The Defender is probably the most iconic and well-loved British vehicle in existence – I believe even more so than the Mini,” said Afzal Kahn. “The fact that Land Rover are retiring it is an absolute tragedy – it’s one of my top three all-time favorite vehicles.”
But under Kahn’s banner, the Defender will live on. Future variants are on their way including a four-door, armored models, diesel versions, and even a 6×6. It will be fully unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and cost £125,000 (about $189,000).