View From The press: Six And The City
20th Jun 2019
Land Rover Monthly Magazine’s Patrick Cruywagen drove the 6.2 litre Flying Huntsman 6X6 Defender past six iconic landmarks in a feature he has aptly titled: Six And The City.
Read on to find out what Patrick had to say about the 6X6.
I will never forget the 2015 Geneva Motor Show for one specific reason. My former publisher Geoff Love did a live video on the LRM Facebook page of the unveiling of wheels wizard Afzal Kahn’s prototype Flying Huntsman 6x6 Defender double cab pick-up.
It went viral with over 1.5 million views. This was probably because it was like no 6x6 Defender the world had ever seen.
Whilst the Australian military previously used their Defender 110 Perentie 6x6 for battlefield manoeuvres, Afzal’s Flying Huntsman 6x6 is opulence personified and the only place it will ever see any action is in the affluent areas of London and beyond.
Fast forward four years and I am in Chelsea, London, with my mate Nekkies Smit (the designated driver for the day), standing outside Afzal’s shiny Chelsea Truck Company showroom. We are here to take one of his production Flying Huntsman 6x6 Defender double cab pickups for a drive through central London.
It’s a five-seater but they also do a station wagon 9 or 12-seater option. We’re met by the man himself and I feel a little under-dressed in my cargo shorts and sneakers.
According to the sales brochure the 6x6 that we will be driving is currently for sale at a whopping £279,999, you can purchase ten new Defender 90s for that amount of money, when they were still making them, of course.
I ask Afzal about the current state of the Defender market. “The Defender market has definitely gone a little quiet. People know there is a new Defender coming soon, plus Brexit is not doing us any favours. Still we managed to sell around 50 Defenders in 2018 and so far we have sold seven of the 6x6s to buyers in China, Mexico, Germany and the Middle East.”
So how did they create this 6x6? It started out life as a newish Defender 110 crew cab with a 430-hp GM LS3 V8 engine. The body was then extended by 880 mm and an extra rear axle fitted, whilst the distance between the back two axles is 880 mm.
Saying that, they have used the rear end of a Defender 90, so unlike some of the other six-wheeler Defenders we have recently seen this is a genuine 6x6 with a driven third axle. Afzal throws us the keys and tells us to enjoy the experience. Jacques gets a naughty smile on his face. He owns several Land Rovers including a 6x6 3.5-litre V8 Fire Truck that was built by Land Rover in South Africa. We head north, away from the Thames River in the direction of Hyde Park.
To read the article in its entirety, pick up a July copy of Land Rover Monthly Magazine.