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Land Rover Defender Harris Tweed (2012) prototype

Fri, 16 Nov 2012

Here's a curious mix of classic Britishness and modern modifications: a Kahn-tuned Land Rover Defender fitted with a butch bodykit, enormous multispoke wheels and knobbly tyres and - inside -tweed-trimmed bucket seats. It's like a Spitfire wearing a Damien Hurst-penned livery.

This is, to give the car its full title, the Kahn Defender Concept 17 Wide Body - Harris Tweed Prototype. Let's dissect that mouthful of a moniker and see if this is more Chelsea tractor than farmer's friend.

Let's start with the Kahn Concept 17 bit...

Modifying Land Rovers is bread-and-butter fare for Project Kahn, and it's their multispoke 18-inch wheels that adorn this Defender. Mounted on a wider track, they're matched to a wide-body kit with vents integrated into the boxy arches.

Other cosmetic additions include a stainless steel front grille, mesh bonnet and side vents, clear rear light lenses and LED front lights. Add a smattering of obligatory Kahn prototype badges and serve with an interior of leather, piano wood and... tweed?

Aren't leather or Alcantara more plausible upholstery choices?

Kahn boss Afzal Kahn says tweed is a 'noble fabric' and deserves its place on his modified version of one of the British motoring industry's most enduring icons. The hand-woven Harris tweed is applied to the quilted front and rear bucket seats, roof lining and even the sun visors. Elsewhere, the Defender's once brutally utilitarian cabin is swathed in leather Alcantara and red and silver contrast stitching. There's a splash of red for the rev counter, seat belts and clock, and you get machined aluminium pedals.

At least, that's an example spec. Kahn will pander to any customer request, and state they will be happy to 'design for you a vehicle with an interior the same shade as your living room'. And you thought Land Rover's own Defender concepts were controversial...

By Ollie Kew