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Original Land Rover Defender Reborn With 400-HP V8 Special Edition

Reveal / 13 Comments

This is the fastest and most powerful Land Rover Defender ever made, built to celebrate the iconic SUV’s 70th anniversary.

It was a sad day when the long-running Land Rover Defender was discontinued back in 2016, signaling the end of an era. The iconic off-roader first launched 70 years ago and changed the automotive industry forever. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Defender, so of course Land Rover was never going to ignore such an important event. This is the birthday present it came up with: the Land Rover Defender Works V8, the fastest and most powerful Defender ever created.

Limited to only 150 units built by the company's heritage division, Land Rover Classic, the Defender Works V8 celebrates the iconic SUV's 70th anniversary and pays homage to early Land Rover models that were fitted with V8s. Under the hood of each specially-selected and re-engineered Defender Works is a 5.0-liter, naturally-aspirated gasoline V8 producing 400 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, compared to the standard Defender which delivered 120 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The V8 is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox with sport mode, a combination that allows the Defender Works V8 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while top speed is increased to 106 mph.

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"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," said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. "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's edition Defenders," he added.

The Defender Works V8 is also fitted with uprated brakes, as well as improved springs, dampers and anti-roll bars to enhance the handling, exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and beefy 265/65 R18 all-terrain tires to retain the rugged Defender's off-road prowess. Eight standard body colours will be available for the reborn Land Rover Defender with two satin finishes contrasting with a Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille. Each SUV will also be finished with machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender lettering on the hood, while the SUV's lighting has been upgraded with bi-LED headlamps.

Inside, the interior has been updated with Windsor Leather trim covering the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats. Land Rover Classic's own Classic Infotainment System is also fitted. Both 90 and 110 wheelbase versions of the Defender Works V8 will be available to purchase from Land Rover Classic. Pricing for the 90 variant starts at £150,000 (around $207,250) in the UK, though upgrades are also available which bump up the price including power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, high-performance suspension and braking kits. And before you ask, the Land Rover Defender Works V8 won't be available in the US. Sorry to disappoint.