While we continue to wait for the all-new Defender, Land Rover has announced a limited-run of 150 Defender Works V8s.

LAND ROVER HAS announced it will release 150 Defender Works V8s as it continues to celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary. More than this, the V8-powered Defenders pay homage to the Series III Stage I V8 from 1979 and subsequent V8 Defenders, including the 50th anniversary variant.

The Defender Works V8 is the most powerful and fastest-ever Defender with a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 thumping out 297kW and 515Nm or torque up from the standard car’s 90kW and 360Nm of torque. That’s enough to see it hit 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

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’s edition Defenders.”

Land Rover will mate the V8 engine to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, beefed up brakes and “handling kit” which includes new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. It’ll ride on bespoke 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres. 

Eight standard body colours include two satin finishes – contrasting with a Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille – finished with machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering. A lighting upgrade includes bi-LED headlamps. Full Windsor Leather interior trim covers 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 Defender Works V8 derivatives will be available to purchase direct from Land Rover Classic, with prices starting from £150,000 for a 90 in the UK, or AUD$260,000. Practical Motoring spoke with Land Rover Australia and the only way you’ll be able to get one of these things here is to buy one in the UK and privately import it here.


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