Overfinch Land Rover Defender driven

23 November, 2012 | by Sam Philip

Desire a Defender with leather trim? Then this is the one for you…

Tsk. You wait ages for a lightly modified, expensively retrimmed Defender to turn up, then two arrive at once. Hot on the heels of Twisted’s R800k effort comes this uncharacteristically subtle number from Leeds-based tuner Overfinch.

Overfinch’s take on the camelid Defender isn’t quite so extravagant as its RRS, comprising a modest 8kW/23Nm boost to the venerable 2.2-litre turbodiesel through a new intercooler and ECU remap. More significant work has been done in the visual department, the Defender gaining a new front bumper with daytime running lights, bespoke alloys and a cabin overhaul that includes many new dash-bits plus several hectares of leather.

And what leather. Don protective specs, hinge open the door of the test car and you’re confronted by a lurid assault of dyed cow-outer: burgundy leather bound by lime green stitching. There is a good reason for this. The man from Overfinch hastily points out the leather can be had in any colour at all. This would seem to be a good idea.

Whatever you think of the wine ‘n’ lime cow, you must admire the craftsmanship. Overfinch’s Defender is classily finished, the execution closer to Rolls luxury than aftermarket glue-and-screw. Like Twisted’s version, you can pick and mix your upgrades: our Defender tipped the cost scales at R600k, but if you’re prepared to forgo the mechanical tweaks – which make it drive like a slightly better Defender, but still a Defender – you can have it cheaper.

If you want a poshed-up Defender, Overfinch’s is tough to fault. But do you? Should the whole farmyard-chic trend do it for you, fine. But no matter how succulent the leather and how glossy the alloys, this is still a Defender, which means it’s pretty much the best thing for crawling through mud, and still pretty much the worst thing to drive on the road. If you’re in the market for a £50k Defender, we’re guessing you’re more likely to drive in Kensington than Krakatoa. Each time you’re choosing from your six-car garage for the supermarket run, you’ll take anything but the grumbling LR. Giving a woolly mammoth a haircut don’t make it no show pony…

Sam Philip

The numbers
2200cc, 4cyl, 4WD, 98kW, 383Nm, 10l/100km, 274g/km CO2, 0-100kph in 13.8secs,155kph, 1890kg*

The verdict
As gloriously incongruous as a chalk-and-cheese-filled baguette, and about as sensible an idea. 7/10

*approximate figure


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