What if the Land Rover Defender was turned into a convertible two-seater? That’s the question posed by Kahn Design, a British firm best known for customizing SUVs.
The result is a Defender 90 with its rear seats and roof removed. In their place in a pronounced cowl made from aluminum and fitted with integrated roll hoops.
The car is the work of Kahn Design’s Flying Huntsman coachbuilding division. Just eight examples will be made each year, with the first scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.
Only a computer render and design sketches are available for now, so the design might change a little by the time the first Flying Huntsman Spyder 90 is finished. Even still, I’ve little doubt this car would look right at home on a California beach.
The modified Defender will be fitted with a bespoke canvas roof for when the weather isn’t playing ball, and that large rear deck lid opens for access to what Kahn Design says is the same storage space as a regular Defender 90. That isn’t much though, so while the car is described as a grand tourer, its occupants will need to pack light if they’re to clock up any meaningful mileage. And leave the kids at home, obviously.
Each car will take six months to complete, the company says, and they’ll be assembled at a factory in Coventry, England previously used to build the Aston Martin One-77 supercar, among other coachbuilt projects.
The company is light on further details for now, but says how customers have the option of commissioning a set of bespoke ‘one of one’ forged wheels.
It’s easy to be cynical about such projects, but the original Land Rover Series and latterly the previous-generation Defender were often highly modified vehicles – and don’t forget, the very first Land Rover had a canvas roof.
Convertible versions in numerous shapes and sizes soon followed, and still today there are coachbuilders creating bespoke, open-top variants of old Land Rovers. It was only a matter of time before the same approach was taken with the new model.
Khan Design founder Afzal Kahn said of the Flying Huntsman Spyder 90, “This project is about more than creating another exciting and unique vehicle; it’s at once a consolidation and continuation of our legacy of manufacturing special vehicles, supporting British craftsmanship and keeping the art of coachbuilding alive and relevant.”