Kahn Design has revealed the styling of their latest Land Rover Defender 90 up-fit, which includes a comprehensive exterior and interior makeover and the Chelsea Wide Track name. The Kahn personalization options list is immense, with near limitless combinations of paints, tweeds and leathers to camouflage this classic off-road machine in urban war paint.
Ever the victim of aggressive personalization, the Defender is still trendy because of how impractical and hilariously uncomfortable it is to drive. The mechanicals for Kahn ’s extreme makeover stay the same as the stock model, aside from some light engine enhancements to the 2.2-liter turbo diesel and of course the giant wheel/tire/spring package.
These vehicles are part of a new co-branding effort between Kahn Design and the Chelsea Truck Company. Forming what must be the most absurdly wordy name in history, the truck is best referred to as the Chelsea Defender. Offered in the 90 or 110-inch body styles, the Chelsea Defender offers some tasteful and some not-so-tasteful ways for customers to part with their cash.
Cynicism about modified Defenders is possible only from afar. Driving a Defender is still a strange treat off road, but its rude manners on pavement mean that owners have little choice: they must try to engineer improvements themselves via the aftermarket.
Kahn’s custom Land Rover will not be joining the official U.S. price lists any time soon. A fun competitor might be the Nissan Murano CrossCarbiolet ] - but sadly, the convertible Defender is not one of the five body styles offered for this legendary truck’s designer up-fit.
Click past the jump to read the full review of the new 2013 Land Rover Defender 90 - Chelsea Wide Track By Kahn Design, with a mega gallery of images of the various personalization options.
The exterior makeover for the Chelsea Defender is actually pretty light compared with the multiple other design shops who offer full Defender revamps, such as the Twisted Defender that can be had with a gurgling Chevy V-8 up front.
The main up-fit items include a handsome set of matching stainless steel mesh vent plates for the grille, hood and front wings. These pair with a front and rear pack of wheel flares with integrated vents and some chunky bolt cutouts. These wider fenders and flares protect the body of the car from the much-larger 16-inch wheels with high-profile knobby tires. (For DIY guys: be sure to apply rust-proof paint seal to the front and back sides of any holes drilled in the body when mounting fenders.)
All of these component additions are outlined in the gallery below in technical drawings from the company. The concept of adding a full additional wing panel on top of the metal is unusual versus American Jeep and off-road enthusiasts - who are more eager to actually strip the fenders away to allow huge mud/sand tires.
The reinforced plastic panels do bring long-term scratch protection to the body sides underneath, and their satin matte finish creates a special Defender image. Painted flares are offered in other packages, including the handsome Fuji White Chelsea Defender .
This stainless mesh grille looks quite cheap and frail to some eyes, and will likely be replaced by Kahn’s cool new X-Lander front grille (also in photo gallery at bottom of page).
Numerous wheel and LED upgrades are available on the outside of the Kahn Defender, but the prices are pretty high versus procuring and installing the aftermarket components yourself.
2013 Kahn Design - Chelsea Defender 90 Wide Track - Exterior Features
- 1948 Defend alloy Wheels in satin Black - 8x16 Fitted with 235x85x16-inch tires
- Choice of Crosshair military or Diamond military Headlamps Brake Calipers - painted (available in a Choice of Colors)
- Bonnet Vents with mesh - stainless steel, Front grille with mesh - stainless steel, Headlamp grilles with mesh - stainless steel
- Front Bumper Lighting
- Front Bumper sump guard - aluminum
- Chelsea Truck Company spare Wheel Cover
- Extended Wheel arches in Choice of satin Finishes: Front and Rear Wide Track Wings with integrated Vents and Bolt apertures
- Twin Crosshair exhaust system including exhaust shields - stainless steel
- Mud Flaps - toughened rubber
- Chelsea truck Company spare Wheel Cover
- Exterior - Kahn enamel Wing Badges
- Manual adjustable exterior mirrors
- Perimetric and Volumetric sensing alarm with immobilization
- Windscreen Wash/Wipe system (intermittent Function), Rear Wash Wiper
The interior of all Defenders is a real throwback to before cars had crash structures and any safety features in their dashboard and mechanical configuration. Instead, Defender driver’s sit high up with their legs outward on the high floor. A Kahn single-spoke steering wheel replaces the ghastly original Land Rover wheel, which looks like it is from a city bus.
Kahn is quite proud of their extensive Harris Tweed and quilted leather choices, but to an outsider’s eye, the bespoke seats seem like a strange match for an off-road car. At least tweed is warm in the winter, but neither is easy to clean.
The standard amenities from the Defender carry through, including a defroster in back and a few other basics. The stereo system head unit and speaker performance is appalling at these prices - offering a single aftermarket head unit design that might be from Best Buy or stolen from a Honda Civic somewhere.
The back seats can fold down, but sitting there looks miserable with a giant floor hump in your pelvis and knees banging against your chin. A sliding window at least will let you hang your head out the window like a puppy dog.
2013 Kahn Design - Chelsea Defender 90 Wide Track - Interior Features
- Key ring - Quilted Leather with enamel Kahn Logo
- Front sports GTB seats and rear folding seats
- Leather with Harris Tweed or alcantara
- Passenger Dashboard top and grab handle in Harris Tweed
- Instrument Binnacle in Harris Tweed
- Knee protectors in Harris Tweed
- Roof grab Handle Covers in Harris Tweed
- Rear Door panel Cover and Handle in Harris Tweed
- Centre glove Box in Quilted and perforated Leather
- Single spoke steering Wheel - Leather
- Churchill time Clock Facia
- Rev Counter Dial in red
- Vented Foot pedals in machined aluminum - Kahn Branded
- Fire extinguisher (x2) - Kahn Branded
- Hard Wearing Front and rear Cabin Floor mats
- Cold Climate pack: electric front windows and heated rear screen glass
- Remote Central Locking
The Kahn Design team offers complete packages as well as individual, a la carte sales of aftermarket kit. In fact, this company stocks upgrades for about 30 of the most popular car brands in Europe and the world, making it a good resource if you live somewhere outside of the U.K.
In the U.K., the retail price for the 2.2 Xs90 2Dr - Chelsea Defender Wide Track is just under £40,000 (English Pounds). This converts to $62,000 in U.S. dollars, which is not bad compared to some other customization houses. After all, even the Defender V-8 cost $38,000 when it was last sold in America - in 1999.
The Nissan’s buttery ride and audible passengers would be a day at the spa for most Defender drivers. Specially imported U.S.-market Murano CC’s are about the same price as the Chelsea Defender.
We can handle the bulk export from this office. Form a line, people - or a cue as they call it in Blighty.
Where is everyone? Nobody?
The Fuji White version of this car really speaks to a more modern sensibility, with its interesting satin opalescent paintwork and more expressive grille design than this regular Chelsea Defender.
Among Defender lovers, the Kahn Design parts catalog will be joyful bedtime reading for months to come. Buying a complete package is a dream scenario, but individual upgrades will do the trick for most people. Just a sliver of civility to go with the Defender’s brutish charm.
- A British brute, long live the Defender!
- Endless color and wheel choices or contrast black flare panels
- This truck is cool in London, but cool as **** in L.A. after more than 15 years without any new Defenders
- Interior appears to lack room for human occupants, insulation and weather-proofing
- Major safety and comfort concerns for any highway or long-range driving
- Mileage and performance from tiny Diesel engine are unbelievably bad
Introducing the Land Rover Defender XS 90 by the Chelsea Truck Company
Fear not, the Defender has not been transformed into a turned into a pedantic, moisturised, modern SUV!
As you have no doubt spotted with the aid of your eyes, this is not an all-new Defender. This is a very gentle revision of the nearly-seventy-year-old original Defender, lightly massaged and treated to a makeover by Afzal Kahn under the guise of the Chelsea Truck Company and aptly titled the XS 90!
A 2.2 engine with 175 BHP, the power and torque remains unchanged at 122PS and a bovine 360NM. CO2 emissions are down (to a still-less-than-saintly 295g/km for the longer-wheelbase versions) and economy is up.
Despite this dangerous talk of efficiency, the Afzal Kahn touch includes a Orkney grey exterior with a front light protector surround and mesh in satin black, Kahn front grille surround and mesh in satin black, Kahn vehicle branding, white indicator lenses, xenon headlights and the compulsory branded rear wheel cover ensures the Chelsea Truck Company XS 90’s driving position is sumptuous and remains more agile in the wild than a leopard and although it won\’t ever change its spots, Afzal Kahn has ensured the XS 90 exudes a certain charm which goes hand in hand with culture and agriculture!
Function doesn’t have to be ugly – once you’ve pounded through a day’s hard work you really want to ride away in a comfortable bespoke seat.
And the XS 90 does not disappoint: front and rear racing car seats in quilted red leather, The centre console in red leather with padded armrests, dashboard in red leather, door tops in quilted red leather, gear gaiter in red leather, Kahn Speedo & rev counter facia in red, leather & alcantara steering wheel, roof lining and sun visors in red leather and vented foot pedals in machined aluminum ensures the large expanse of interior is rather clever.
Allow A. Kahn Design to give you a choice to choose a vehicle that fits your lifestyle and personality enabling you to make a statement.
Owning a Kahn Defender is quite a statement in itself; the workmanship and sophistication that has been afforded is of a regal standard. Its purposeful looks and chic posture merely emphasise that someone special is behind the wheel.
Under the Kahn expedition vehicles umbrella, the ’Chelsea Truck Company’ has bestowed upon us the Land Rover Defender 2.2 TDCI 90 Hard Top – Chelsea Wide Track.
However, don’t be deceived by the well-groomed silhouette – this archetypal Tamar Blue style icon certainly lives up to its legendary status.
Matching the Iconic feel of the underlying car, the Kahn Defender is adorned with a nonchalant range of enhancements which include front & rear wide wings with integrated vents & bolt apertures, front bumper, bonnet vents with mesh stainless steel, fog lamps, headlamp grilles with mesh stainless steel, front grille with mesh stainless steel, 8x16 1948 Defend wheels in satin black (fitted with 235x85x16” tyres, side vents with mesh stainless steel, crosshair military headlights, exterior Kahn prototype tailgate logo, exterior Kahn prototype wing blades, front bumper sump guard (aluminum), mud flaps, exhaust shields and Chelsea Truck Company Spare Wheel Cover.
Interconnected in order to coalesce design and engineering expression, the Kahn twin crosshair exhaust system is radical in design yet a first cousin only to silence and manners.
A multitude of comprehensive improvements to the interior increases one’s sense of well-being. Numerous details have been restyled: front sports GTB seats in quilted & perforated leather, single spoke steering wheel (leather), Churchill time clock facia Insert in red, dashboard & instrument binnacle in Harris Tweed, rear door panel & handle in Harris Tweed, vented foot pedals in machined aluminum and rev counter facia in red.
Naturally, the Kahn Defender can be ordered in every imaginable colour. If you, for example, want a car with a full colour change (to a colour of your choice) and an interior akin to, let’s say your favourite leather reclining chair in your living room, we will be more than happy to oblige.
The company philosophy is to always give the customer what they want, so Afzal Kahn could for example, design you a vehicle with a full colour change (to a colour of your choice) and an interior akin to, let’s say your favourite leather reclining chair in your living room. Customers could also change the colour of the clock, or indeed, ask for anything else.
A. Kahn Design is for the individual who will not submit to a life of uniformity and who will only accept perfection. Dedicated to the creation of luxury bespoke vehicles, we redesign the ordered monotony of mass produced vehicles and rebuild them into individually tailored creations.
Future X-Lander Grille