Flying Huntsman Spyder 90: The ultimate drop-top Defender?
Kahn Design’s in-house artisans will create a highly limited production run of their most special project yet.
Land Rover Design Chief, Gerry McGovern, had a truly unenviable task when he was challenged to reinvent the firm’s most beloved product for the 21st century: the Defender. However, judging by the public’s response, he knocked it out of the park. When the new shape Defender arrived in early 2020, it was snapped up faster than toilet roll in the first wave of the Covid pandemic.
Three years on, and the new shape Defender is ten-a-penny in every affluent neighborhood and suburb in the country. Ultimately, this has created a very first-world problem for the sort of individual who likes to stand out from the crowd. Handily though, the team at Kahn Design have spent the last two decades crafting bespoke solutions to similar issues.
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Specialising in taking automotive excess to the eleventh level, Kahn’s crack crew had their work cut out here. Literally. That’s right, sometimes less is more when you’re trying to get noticed: they chopped the roof off.
As you might have guessed, this wasn’t an angle grinder and tin-snips kind of job, though. Far from it in fact. For projects of this calibre, Kahn calls for its esoteric arm of bespoke coachbuilders, entitled the Flying Huntsman.
Based in Coventry, the Flying Huntsman team operates from the same factory which birthed some truly extraordinary, limited run projects — Aston Martin’s One-77 is probably the most notable namedrop.
Kahn founder, Afzal Kahn, explains his vision behind the 90 Spyder, "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."
Handcrafting each panel with traditional hammering techniques, it takes an incredible six months to mould the lightweight, NS3-grade aluminium into the desired shape. Given the complexity and skill involved, just eight Defender Spyders will leave the Huntsman gates a year — so we don’t expect them to come cheap.
But why have one of eight, when you could have one of one? To make your Defender truly unique, you can even commission Kahn to manufacture an entirely bespoke wheel design to your exacting taste.
With such rarity comes an even greater need to protect your asset. As such, it looks like Kahn will shod the Spyder with top-quality Continental rubber. This means that despite the glitz and glamour of the exterior, the Defender underneath can still shine in all conditions.
It won’t be until Q2 of 2024 before you can spot one of these exquisite beasts in the wild, and even then, it’s highly unlikely unless it’s sitting on your drive. What do you think Gerry McGovern would think of Kahn’s take on his iconic design?