Donald Trump may have removed the US from the Paris Climate agreement, but the rest of the world will continue to press forward and in the near future, that will mean that some cities outside of the US will adopt low or zero-emission zones. Governments hope this will inventive drivers to switch to electric cars, but that could put a series damper on lovers of classic cars like the Land Rover Defender. Autocar kindly points out that there’s no need to fret if the iconic British off-roader is your ride of choice.
That’s because JE Motorworks, an engineering company out of Coventry, England, is more than happy to switch the Defender’s polluting power plant out for a fuel efficient engine in order to bypass potential bans on vehicles that emit high amounts of CO2. “We are seeing increasing rules and regulations restricting the use of diesel-engined vehicles in certain environments, particularly in cities, all over the world,” said JE chairman and chief engineer Jonathan Douglas. “We expect many Defender owners will see a modern, direct-injection petrol engine as a good, more environment-friendly solution.” That modern power plant he’s talking about is none other than the 2.3-liter inline-four EcoBoost straight from the Ford Mustang and Ford Focus RS.
At maximum tilt, it makes 345 horsepower and thanks to the turbocharger, applies its torque across the rev range. The 175 grams/kilometer it spews is far better than the 2.2-liter diesel installed in the Defender, which emits 266 g/km at its cleanest. The swap can be fitted with either a manual gearbox of a six-speed Tiptronic automatic with the former option costing a little under £20,000 ($25,764) and the latter coming with a premium since mating the engine to the automatic is harder to do. That might sound like a steep price to pay (efficiency seems to be more expensive than horsepower lately), but part of the sum goes towards modifying the engines to give them more tractor-like performance in line with the Defender’s character.
At least the next generation Defender shouldn’t have to have its engine swapped when regulations go into effect because like the rest of JLR’s lineup, we can expect it to get electrified as the noose tightens on the internal combustion engine.