TO CELEBRATE the brand’s 70th anniversary this year, Land Rover has announced a special-edition V8-powered Defender will be available direct from its Classic division.
The high-performance Defender Works V8 will feature the most powerful engine used by Land Rover in the Defender – a 5.0-litre petrol V8 capable of delivering a whopping 298kW and 515Nm, up from the standard TD4 Defender’s 90kW and 360Nm.
Punters best get in quick to snare a 70th Edition special, as only 150 Defenders will be selected for re-engineering to cater for the V8 powertrain transplant. That V8 will be complemented by an eight-speed ZF automatic with Sport mode.
Other features include upgraded brakes, springs, dampers and anti-roll bars; 18-inch diamond-tuned Sawtooth alloy wheels; and 265/65 R18 all-terrain rubber.
Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: “It’s fitting that we’ve been able to release the full potential of the iconic Defender, whose much-loved shape remains synonymous with Land Rover, 70 years since it was seen in public for the first time.
“The idea of reintroducing a V8 Defender was something we were discussing as far back as 2014, when we were still building the Defender in Solihull. We knew the demand was there for a powerful and fast Defender; the Land Rover authenticity is the ultimate finishing touch for discerning clients purchasing these collector edition Defenders.”
Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, has engineered the vehicle to pay homage to previous high-powered donks from the marquee’s past: the Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders (including the 50th Anniversary edition).
This bonkers V8 version will be available for purchase in both 90 and 110 wheelbases direct from Land Rover Classic, with prices starting from £150,000 (UK) for the shorter-wheelbased version.
Sadly, we won’t get this beast Down Under, with the Defender Works V8 only available in the UK and Middle East/North Africa markets (on an import basis). Worth noting, however, is that a number of the upgrades fitted to this monster Defender will be available to purchase from Land Rover Classic, including (significantly for Aus Defender owners) power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, as well as what Land Rover terms “high performance suspension and braking kits”.
With more than three times the amount of power as the regular TD4 Defender, the 298kW/515Nm 70th Edition is one hell of a way to celebrate. The bent eight is tied to an eight-speed auto, while the exterior gains tweaks.