When I first saw the Kahn’s Flying Huntsman take on the iconic Defender pick-up, my brain almost seized up like a ‘50s mainframe computer that you asked “what love is.” The part of my brain that registers cool things was fighting with the part of my brain that fetishizes pickup space utilization, and most of my head exploded.
So I’m writing this, bits of scalp and brain and hair scattered around my desk, and I still can’t decide. There is something undeniably cool about the look of this thing — that long hood, the short rear deck, the rugged, battleship-like design vocabulary of the Defender, all matte black. It looks like a Civil War ironclad made love to an International Scout, and this tough little bastard is the result. It’s cool.
Kahn has a history of these dramatic modifications of the Defender, like the 6x6 one they showed earlier this year. This Flying Huntsman pickup here had a hood lengthened about 15 inches, but it’s sort of all for show, since it’s just using the usual Landie 105 HP 2.2L diesel. For reference, that’s about 1st-gen Scion xB power, though, of course, the torque is a different story.
As striking as it looks, I can’t shake how much this thing irritates me, too. It’s still a pickup, and I firmly believe that a good pickup should give as much of its overall length as possible to usable space — either in the bed or as enclosed passenger/cargo areas. That’s why I love cabover trucks so much and also why this thing drives me clamshit.
It’s got the proportions backwards. If we flip the cab, it makes a little more sense. Here, look — it’s still pretty cool:
The idea of extending the hood on a short-wheelbase pickup is the space-utilization equivalent of a war crime. And then they add a fecal cherry on top of this shit sundae by sticking the spare tire in the already severely-truncated bed, eating up even more precious space.
So, rationally, I think this is a truck for idiots. Irrationally, I can’t help but admit those idiots will be driving a pretty novel-looking vehicle. As a usable truck, it’s horribly perverse. As a non-usable truck, it’s delightfully perverse.
I’m stuck. Plus, I just found a piece of my scalp with my bald spot and now I feel old on top of everything else.
Thanks a lot, Kahn Flying Huntsman. You asshole.