It’s the latest addition to the ever-growing ranks of catering machines, but in this case, it’s one with an off-road twist. Designed and developed by Jensen International Automotive (JIA), the small Oxfordshire company best known for their exquisite Interceptor and FF updates, this is the classic Range Rover based Chieftain.
In truth, this isn’t the company’s first crack in a reimagined Range Rover. A few years ago he created the original Chieftain, which was essentially a classic bodywork grafted onto a Land Rover Discovery 3 chassis. While it looks and went well, the whole makeover turned out to be too much. complicated and overpriced (think £ 250,000 before you start getting carried away with extras) to make it viable.
So after a bit of head scratching, JIA came up with a brand new version. Essentially, it keeps the same raw ingredients – a classic Rangie donor car, the adoption of a muscular General Motors V8 (in this case, a 430-horsepower 6.2-liter LS3 mated to a six-speed car and the existing all-wheel drive with dual – range transfer case and limited slip diffs) and some subtle upgrades inside and out that aim to make it as easy going and reliable as a modern one.
Unlike before, the latest car retains the ladder frame chassis (albeit a new one), but now with its own fully independent double wishbone suspension which results in a slightly wider track. This has been achieved by cutting off the ends of the original drive axles, but keeping the differentials, to which new drive shafts are attached, while the coil spring suspension (with adjustable Spax shocks) then locks onto pickups. Bespoke and beautifully crafted ups that are fitted to the existing chassis.
Currently, JIA is basing its conversions on the later “ Soft Dash ” cars of the early 1990s, as they offer the best mix of modernity and retro appeal, and they tend to come with all the “ latest ” luxuries and safety aids, such as air conditioning and airbags. As with any restomod, the sky can be the limit when it comes to specs and our example based on the long wheelbase LSE bears witness to that, with unique GRP front and rear bumpers, LED headlights and Compomotive wheels. which give it a more menacing look. than the original.
Climb aboard and the interior is a well-balanced mix of old and new, this soft-touch dashboard delivering ergonomics that isn’t as abysmal as previous cars, while the driving position benefits from the inclusion of an adjustable column rake on the latter car – although the sunroof eats away at the headroom. Fresh hand-stitched leather covers the seats and steering wheel, there are new thick pile carpets and refreshed headliner, and the wood trim is revived. There’s plenty of room to relax in this LSE, too, while the brand’s split tailgate opens to reveal a full-size trunk. It is a practical indulgence.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-10 23:01:24