Like every member of the Land Rover line-up, the second-generation Defender is hugely popular with aftermarket tuners. The Dutch Niels van Roij jumped on the train by announcing a tailor-made program that puts the customer first. However, hiring a one-time Defender isn’t cheap.
Niels van Roij is not new to the world of aftermarket Land Rover models; he announced a two-door Range Rover in March 2019. For the Defender, he chose to focus on colors and materials. Working directly with customers, he reinvents the SUV’s design and personality without drastically changing its shape. For example, a customer asked for a Defender with an interior inspired by the Caribbean island where he met his wife. Another asked for the exact same paint color worn by the classic Defender in its collection. However, neither has yet been built.
The list of available materials includes different types of leather upholstery, denim, aluminum, teak and copper, which Land Rover also puts on some of its cars. Finished in gray and black, the first Niels van Roij Defender gets massive aluminum vents integrated into the fenders and milled guards that replace the plastic parts Land Rover installs on the hood. It rides on 20-inch wheels, although 22-inch units are also available. It’s relatively subtle compared to some of the other commands outlined by the designer.
The price for the custom-built Defender (which Niels van Roij de Valiance calls, part of the Heritage Customs line) starts at 90,000 euros, an amount that represents approximately $ 106,600 at the current conversion rate. It varies depending on the donor vehicle (Land Rover, for example, offers short and long wheelbase variants of the Defender) and the options chosen. Buyers must wait at least a month and a half before receiving their unique SUV.
New custom defenders appear surprisingly regularly. Polish tuner Carlex Design took the SUV to the next level in late 2020 when it unveiled a build called Racing Green that received a wide-body kit, a big helping of carbon fiber accents, cognac trim and, of course, dark green paint. It costs about $ 103,000.