TECNIQ showcases ‘Q40 Defender’ project celebrating 40th anniversary of the Chinook helicopter in support of Royal Air Forces Association

British automotive engineering specialists TECNIQ will honour one of the longest serving aircraft of the Royal Air Force this year, with a truly bespoke, uniquely designed and engineered vision of a British automotive stalwart. The specially commissioned ‘Q40 Defender by TECNIQ’ has been inspired by the iconic double-rotored Chinook aircraft, which celebrated its 40th year of active service in 2021. The hand-crafted Defender Q40 is to be auctioned at the Goodwood Revival in September, with all proceeds from the Bonhams sale being donated to the Royal Air Forces Association.

The one-off Q40 Defender has undergone a complete redesign and rebuild by the in-house specialist team at TECNIQ, liaising closely with 18(B) Squadron at RAF Odiham, taking subtle design cues from the aircraft for both the interior and exterior. At each stage, the TECNIQ team has worked to improve the performance, dynamics, and efficiency of the original model, while also enhancing the look and feel of the vehicle through careful selection of the materials. A military approach to attention to detail has been engaged throughout the project, and the result is a vehicle which is as elegant in its details as it is purposeful in its abilities.

Nigel Lempriere, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TECNIQ explained: “The Q40 Defender project was born to celebrate all that is great about the Chinook, showcasing the latest in automotive technologies and engineering capabilities of TECNIQ and supporting the great work carried out by the Royal Air Forces Association. The aircraft really is iconic, and the Q40 Defender is our way of celebrating the 40-year service milestone to our country, having played so many key roles with the military in efforts across the world.

The exterior bodywork of the Q40 Defender by TECNIQ has been hand-finished in complementing shades of gloss and matte dark green, carefully matched to the camouflaged bodywork of the aircraft. The use of lightweight carbon fibre for the custom-designed grille, wheelarch extensions, and bonnet and fender vents further elevate the exterior design, while tactile hand-stitched marine leather is used to wrap around the bespoke anodised aluminium door handles.  A graphic representation of the famous double rotor design, inspired by the flying suit badges worn by the aircrew, is subtly depicted on the rear of the vehicle through a matte paint finish.

Inside, the application of hand-crafted luxury materials and highly technical production methods create a uniquely purposeful environment for the occupants. Further engineering enhancements have been applied to a ‘twin zoned’ 2+2 seating configuration, with each element being designed and manufactured in-house by the TECNIQ team. Lightweight carbon fibre racing seats are upholstered in hand-stitched Bridge of Wier leather with sheepskin inserts in a subtle nod to the seating of the Chinook. Mirroring the cockpit setup, the front of the vehicle is luxuriously upholstered with dark materials including the quilted roof lining, while a newly designed steering wheel alongside a heavily reconfigured, ergonomically optimised instrument cluster and centre console have also been installed, again with military design influence. A custom designed, high level control console also now houses repositioned switchgear, and the gear selector is also uniquely designed for the Q40Defender. The luxurious rear seating area features a lighter grey finish, again echoing the load area of the Chinook, installed with a further bespoke central console and two individual seats, while further back the rear luggage compartment is portioned off using the webbing taken from the load bay of the aircraft. With an upgrade to LED lighting throughout the vehicle, the interior is finished with the fitment of submarine lighting.

The engineering brief for the Q40 Defender project has ensured that it is now more capable than ever before. Beneath the striking exterior upgrades, and reinforcing the purposeful look, is a dynamic setup to ensure it is as refined to drive on road as it is capable to drive off road. Power is delivered from a Mustang-derived Ford EcoBoost 2.3-litre turbo engine with remapped ECU to develop 307hp and 432Nm of torque, coupled to an upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission. Ride and handling have been extensively enhanced and the chassis being redeveloped by the specialist team at TECNIQ’s Classic Racing department. The all-new suspension system now features programmable dampers, upgraded anti-roll bars and bushing and lowered coil springs. Braking performance has also been significantly enhanced and now features six-piston calipers with 345mm discs to the front, paired with four-piston 330mm discs to the rear.

Nigel Lempriere continued: “As a hugely capable and versatile machine up to any challenge, the decision to design and build something to honour its long service led us to one suitable, and simple, option with the Defender.  However, we have been meticulous throughout the design and development process to create something completely bespoke which uses the aircraft as inspiration, but which elevates the vehicle to the next level. The focus for TECNIQ throughout has been for the Q40 Defender to blend bespoke luxury and elegant design without diluting any of the utilitarian ability that both the Defender and Chinook are world-renowned for.”

Rachel Huxford, Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Trading at the Royal Air Forces Association, said: “We are very excited about this unique project, particularly as it involves the Chinook, an aircraft that holds so many memories for so many of the RAF community. The money raised through the auction will help us continue to support members of the RAF community in need, be they current RAF personnel, veterans, or their dependants. I would like to thank TECNIQ for their dedication and generosity and the Royal Air Force for their huge support of this project.”

Tim Schofield, head of department, Collectors Motor Cars at Bonhams, added: “It is a real honour for Bonhams to have the opportunity to sell the Q40 Defender by TECNIQ to raise funds for the amazing work carried out by the Royal Air Forces Association. The word ‘iconic’ is overused in daily life, but it is truly fitting for the Chinook which has proved to be as versatile as it is capable on countless occasions, and such a major part of the Royal Air Forces for four decades. This incredibly special vehicle has been built to honour the milestone achievement and the build quality is astonishing. The inspiration from the aircraft has been carefully managed by TECNIQ to deliver a beautiful end result, while the engineering expertise and attention to detail are clear to see throughout the vehicle.”

In addition to the exquisitely finished vehicle, the headline lot of the Bonhams sale will include an exclusive behind the scenes tour of RAF Odiham, the home of the Chinook, in Hampshire.

Ahead of the bespoke Q40 Defender crossing the auction block at the famous Goodwood Circuit on Saturday, 17 September, a collection of key moments from the history of the aircraft and service have been captured through the memories of some of those who served and experienced the military and humanitarian support provided. These personal recollections will be released as a series of video shorts, along with more detailed information on the Q40 Defender by TECNIQ which has been inspired by the aircraft.

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