The Land Rover Defender may have already rode off into the sunset, but that has not stopped tuners from customizing the revered 4x4 into something even more capable. Enter 'Project Viper', a heavily modified Defender that is the brainchild of East Coast Defender.
Powered by a Chevy LS3 V8 along with an uprated suspension, Project Viper is the company's first made-to-order SUV built by East Coast Defender's Ultimate Vehicle Concept (UVC) division.
“Project Viper is our first custom SUV to emerge from the new UVC division. We created UVC in response to the overwhelming demand from clients who want a pure, handcrafted SUV that is not limited by a specific Bill of Materials or budget. With one-of-one builds, like the Viper, we’re pushing the creative envelope with bigger, more capable trucks that celebrate our heritage with added daily comfort and reliability,” said Scott Wallace, co-owner of East Coast Defender.
Immediately seen on the Project Viper are the 20-inch ADV.1 wheels wrapped in Nitto Mud Gripper tires. An external roll cage from Full Safety Devices also comes as standard for added protection. A custom nudge bar with a power winch, front and rear LED lighting and a diamond plated bed liner with toolboxes and seats round up some of the exterior upgrades.
The factory front and rear axles have been replaced with KAM custom heavy duty axles that come with electronic differential locks. Heavy duty steering arms, King Off-Road Racing shocks and steering damper, and two-inch Old Man Emu coil springs give Project Viper an edge in off-road. Beyond that, East Coast Defender also threw in Wilwood vented and cross-drilled disc rotors on all four corners, stainless steel brake lines and braided steel fuel lines.
Driving this custom 4x4 is not a V10. Instead, it has a 6.2-liter V8 from Chevy that is rated at 430 PS. Power is then routed to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Keeping it cool is a custom aluminum radiator.
Apart from the powertrain and exterior, East Coast Defender also tricked out the interior of Project Viper. Providing in-car entertainment is a Kenwoood touchscreen system with GPS, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, reverse camera and wi-fi. It also has a Morel amplifier and speaker system. LED ambient lighting also comes as standard which spruces up cabin ambiance.
Heated leather seats with white contrast stitching, puddle lamps, automatic headlights, new custom gauges, power windows, wireless phone charging and a remote locking with alarm round up some of the interior upgrades for Project Viper.
Only 10 custom SUVs will be built by East Coast Defender's UVC division each year, making Project Viper one of the most rare 4x4s on sale today.