HomeCar CultureJay Leno tests Raglan's Tesla-powered Land Rover Defender

Jay Leno tests Raglan’s Tesla-powered Land Rover Defender


Raglan is a company formed by veterans whose mission today is converting classic Land Rovers to run on batteries.

One of its conversions, based on an original Defender, was featured on the latest episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” with company founder Joe Comiskey on hand to present it to Jay Leno.

Raglan’s conversions feature a mix of proprietary and Tesla technology for the running gear. A single motor is taken from old Teslas and paired with Raglan’s own gearset and inverter to suit the Defender which retains a mechanical four-wheel-drive system. The result is a peak output of 600 hp, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in about five seconds, according to the company.

Raglan’s settings for throttle response have been purposely set to deliver a more linear feel matching the original driving experience, which Comiskey said his team spent a lot of time developing. The vehicle also has various driving modes, including the ability to switch on or off regenerative braking.

The battery is an 85-kwh unit that Raglan estimates will deliver between 150 and 200 miles on a charge. To maintain the weight balance of the original vehicle, 75% of the battery is located under the hood and the remainder placed in the vehicle’s mid-section. Support for DC fast charging is included, in which case a full charge will require around 90 minutes.

Raglan is based in Wilmington, North Carolina, and each of its vehicles takes roughly 2,000 hours to build. There’s a lot of work involved as Raglan’s work doesn’t start and finish at the powertrain. The company also restores the rest of the vehicle, with only about 60% of the original parts typically being retained.

Buyers have a number of personalization options, too. In the case of the vehicle sampled by Leno, there’s a convertible top, plus Connolly leather trim, which Comiskey points out is the same leather used in early Land Rovers. Modern audio, climate, and infotainment systems can also be fitted.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of



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