Land Rover brings the Defender back from the dead with 400bhp monster

Land Rover brings the Defender back from the dead with 400bhp monster
Land Rover brings the Defender back from the dead with 400bhp monster

Land Rover has announced that it is releasing a limited-run high-performance version of its iconic Defender.

To mark the brand’s 70th anniversary its team of Jaguar Land Rover Classic restoration specialists have created the Defender Works V8, the most powerful and fastest Defender they’ve ever built.

With a 5.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine, the Defender Works produces 400bhp and 380lb/ft – up just a touch from the standard Defender’s 120bhp and 266lb/ft.

Despite the Defender’s brick-like lines, that’s enough to get it to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds. Physics does still get a bit of a say, with the top speed limited to less impressive 106mph.

Land Rover say that the Defender Works pays homage to the early high-powered engines in both the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition.

Each of the 150 cars in the limited-edition series is a specially-selected and comprehensively re-engineered original Defender fitted with a host of performance-oriented components. Both 90 and 110 wheelbase derivatives will be available.

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.”

The V8 powertrain will be complemented by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode and, thankfully, there are uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars) to keep things in line. Exterior upgrades include exclusive 18-inch alloys, machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering plus bi-LED headlamps.

 

Inside, the Defender Works lays on as much luxury as the “cosy” cabin allows, with full Windsor leather interior, Recaro sports seats and. Land Rover Classic’s Classic Infotainment System.

And the price for this luxury and performance? How does £150,000 strike you?

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