Land Rover is developing a brand-new Defender, but this isn’t it. You’re looking at a last-generation, body-on-frame model that has gone berserk after spending time with British tuner Kahn Design.
Kahn is known for its Land Rover- and Jeep-based creations. It started its latest project with the Flying Huntsman, the six-wheeled concoction it introduced at the 2016 edition of the Geneva Auto Show. Ostensibly inspired by the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, the tuner chopped off the rear part of the Land Rover Defender’s roof and replaced it with a power-folding soft top. The military-esque plastic cladding on both sides of the body remains, as does the extra axle which adds an additional set of wheels.
Photos of the interior haven’t been released yet. Looking closely at the teaser image reveals Kahn pushed the rear bench as far back as possible. We don’t see a third row of seats so the Flying Huntsman likely offers over half a dozen feet of legroom. You could play a game of Twister back there. We’d call that segment-leading but that would imply it has rivals, which it really doesn’t unless you’re willing to settle for a fixed roof or four wheels.
There is no word on what is under the hood yet. Bone stock, the now-defunct Defender used a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine rated at 122 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. That’s not much, but after driving it we concluded the generous amount of torque got the job done. In contrast, the original Flying Huntsman benefited from a 6.2-liter borrowed from the General Motors parts bin and supercharged until it generated 430 hp. All that power made its way to the six wheels through a custom six-wheel drive system designed in-house.
The computer-generated sketch is a “statement of intent,” according to Kahn, and the company promises to release more details in the coming months. We expect to see the next evolution of the Flying Huntsman in all its glory at next year’s edition of the Geneva Auto Show. Production will begin shortly after. As the Defender ages, and a new model gets closer and closer, we suspect this might be Kahn’s wildest creation based on Land Rover’s most emblematic model.