We caught up with Twisted Founder, Charles to get his thoughts on how a Twisted really should drive...
I guess other than being asked what we’ll do when we run out of Defender, the next big question I get asked is ‘What makes a Twisted?’
I suppose for the most part, it’s quite an obvious question. Twisted is producing a product which, in simple terms, looks just like a Land Rover Defender. The body is Defender, the chassis is Defender and quite often, the engine and the gearbox are Defender. But between each of these components is where I guess our hard work over the years comes in.
No matter how good a Defender is, no matter how few miles it has on the clock, how tight it is to drive (and those owners reading will know the difference between a tight and slack Defender) between the ground and the steering wheel there are many, many moving parts.
I don’t think any of these parts were ever designed to sit together. They’ve all, over the years, evolved to be positioned together.
To make a good Defender great, somebody needed to take a step back, look at the simple issues, and look at the restrictions that were apparent in a standard vehicle and they needed to address them, and in reality, that is what Twisted has done.
There might be a little bit of magic dust from us here in Yorkshire, but there’s certainly no rocket science.
This is just simple nuts and bolts fitted in a certain manner, adapted to carry out a certain task in an appropriate way.
As a practical example, I’m sat, right now in one of our current demos, a V8 90. Between myself and the road, communication is key. I can feel the road, without it being at all uncomfortable. I can tell what the camber is doing, what the contours are doing. I can add in a little bit of input and the vehicle responds.
This particular vehicle underneath has got the core components that make up a Twisted.
It has a tyre which is ultimately really useful off-road, but has great manners on the road. It’s the right width, has the right amount of rubber touching the ground, and there’s the right amount of side wall.
The wheel (a classic in this case) - is a little bit wider than standard, it’s a little bit taller than standard. It’s nice and light and it’s TUV approved.
“Between myself and the road, communication is key. I can feel the road, without it being at all uncomfortable.”
The Defender body is bolted to the chassis which is sat on two live axles separated by four springs and four dampers. The first 25mm of movement has been softened. The centre of the springs have been firmed, the rear anti roll bar has been upgraded, the front softened switching the bias to encourage traction on the front axle. The system on the whole therefore, offers a significant communication back to the driver.
The brakes are different. The steering wheel at the top end of the steering is different. It gives a totally different rate of movement.
The seat is different and the amount of sound proofing in the doors makes the drive quieter.
All of the joints in the doors around the vehicle have been sealed up, to eradicate all areas which would normally leak. Things have been lined up properly, the doors now shut with conviction, they shut with weight behind them.
This is a brilliant Defender to drive and this in my eyes, is all the components to be a Twisted. Of course ‘a Twisted’ doesn’t have to be petrol.
Power isn’t everything. Traction is everything and if you have traction, less power is more effective. One of our diesel builds with a 170bhp 2.2L engine has the same underpinnings as this one.
They, just like this one are a joy to drive. They turn well, they don’t understeer, they don’t bite you in the corners, they don’t jump about from left to right and therefore it is ultimately controllable.
To pass on this development, 2020 will mark the introduction of newly developed packages whereby Twisted influences can be either fitted or supplied to improve your own Defender.