This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood - story fullscreen Fullscreen

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood

The Hue 166 nameplate harks back to 1948 and this new one by Himalaya is a modern interpretation of that vintage SUV

LISTEN 03:46

The term "Sleeper" is being used all over the place. An RS6, M5, or even E63 AMG with their large wheels, massive exhausts, "air" intakes, and wide bodywork, are cars that aren’t necessarily sleepers at all anymore. The Himalaya Hue 166, with its big 650 horsepower, V-8 engine based on the Land Rover Defender 110, and understated looks, aims to change that.

Overview

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood Exterior
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The Himalaya HUE might be rocking retro looks, but it certainly has the ability to catch anyone out who thinks it’s just another Defender. Swipe Up to Read More

Himalaya, based in Charlotte, South Carolina, specializes in customizing and carrying out classic Land Rover Defender conversions. They are the same folks who also did the Spectre Defender.

Their latest creation, dubbed the Himalaya HUE 166, is based on an old 1948 Defender. The first Land Rover, the pre-production model that was unveiled at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, had the registration "HUE 166”. The Land Rover specialist has tried hard to get as close to the original model as possible. Of course, that was a short-wheelbase Defender, and this is a longer Defender (which is where things are dramatically different).

Performance

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood
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The HUE 166 is the definition of a sleeper as it packs a 650 hp LT4 V-8 engine from a Corvette

This is where the sleeper element comes in. If you think this is just another old Defender, think again. Because you’ll be surprised with what lies beneath the skin of this blocky SUV. Under the hood beats a muscle car heart. The Himalaya HUE features a supercharged V-8 LT4 engine, derived from the Chevrolet Corvette, which produces 650 horsepower. This ferocious power is distributed to all four wheels via an eight-speed General Motors automatic torque converter gearbox. The Brembo brakes fitted, helps bring this behemoth to a stop.

Exterior Mods

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood Exterior
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The blocky looking SUV has its underpinnings in the Land Rover Defender 110

A number of mods have been carried out to come up with this bespoke off-roader. A 110 Defender was used as the foundation. Looking at the Grasmere Green with a contrasting white roof exterior, we can see broad fenders and 18-inch retro-style rims wrapped in BFGoodrich off-road tires. The original angular body is sat on a new ladder frame with Dynatrac axles, four-link suspension, and Brembo brakes. Himalaya has also, metal bumpers and added a series of underbody guards to help protect the off-road hardware.

On the Inside

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood
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Step inside, using the retractable steps, into a modern looking cabin wrapped in leather along with features like dual zone climate control
The original model's deliciously Spartan layout or, rather, functional for the uses for which the Defender was designed, has been completely overhauled.

Step inside, via the retractable side steps, and you are immersed in a luxury environment dominated by hand-stitched leathers and fabrics, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and a cutting-edge infotainment system are part of the package.

Price

This Modest-Looking Himalaya HUE 166 Has a Big Surprise Under the Hood Exterior
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Under the bespoke shade of Grasmere Green with a contrasting white roof lie a lot of mods, including the flared out arches

The price is the most significant downside of this 650 horsepower cube. Himalaya is looking for a mind-numbing $300,000 for the HUE 166. A figure that few wallets can afford, however, it can be justified in part by the fact that we are dealing with a handcrafted creation, that has compelled four years of work to achieve the results seen here. Although the whole vehicle has been modified, you can argue that, for the same price, it is easier to just go out and get yourself a G63 AMG instead, but I doubt it will be easy to fly under that radar with a G63 when compared to a HUE 166.

Source: Himalaya HUE 166

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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