News : Land Rover Defender 70th Edition breaks cover

Land Rover Defender Works V8 - 70th Limited
Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Limited

Land Rover launches a year-long celebration of its 70th birthday with a limited-edition high-performance version of the Defender called the Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Limited. The car, which we’d argue the company should have been making for years, has been masterminded by Land Rover Classic – and a version of it called the 70th Edition has been revealed and will be limited to 150 vehicles.

However, the Land Rover Defender V8 Works will be available beyond this special edition on a limited basis from Land Rover Classic – and you can buy it in 90 or 110-inch forms. The ‘entry-level’ 90-inch version will be priced from £150,000.

Land Rover Defender Works V8 - 70th Limited
Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Limited

The company says it’s a homage to the 1979 Series III Stage 1 V8, but we’d say it’s the perfect antidote to the AMG-edition Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. It’s powered by JLR’s 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V8 developing 400bhp and, according to Land Rover Classic, it will accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds – and go on to a maximum speed of 106mph limited.

The re-engineered Defenders will be complemented by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars), plus exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres.

What other special features are on the Defender V8 Works?

Land Rover Defender Works V8 - 70th Limited
Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Limited

You’ll be able to buy the Defender 70th in one of eight standard body colours, including 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. Other upgrades include LED headlamps, a full Windsor Leather interior and Recaro sports seats. There’s a nifty Infotainment System fitted, too.

A select number of high-performance upgrades inspired by Defender Works V8 will also be available to buy from Land Rover Classic, including power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, fast-road suspension and braking kits. Land Rover intends to continue the Defender lineage and will use its technology, pioneering engineering capability and design expertise to ensure the longevity of the Defender name.

Land Rover says that the all-new Defender is subject to further announcements.

‘Further announcements’? So when is the new Defender arriving?

Yes, there will be a new Defender coming along soon and the good news is that, at the very least, we’ll get our first sight of it in the anniversary year of the Land Rover. We have it on good authority that Design Director Gerry McGovern is keen to retain the look and feel of the outgoing Defender, lining it up as one of Land Rover’s core range pillars alongside Discovery and Range Rover.

On the Works V8 model, which is the first factory Land Rover Defender V8 to hit the market since 1998, Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: ‘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 Defender Works V8 - 70th Limited
Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Limited
Keith Adams


  1. Not really something that’s going to be used down the farm unfortunately…looks like this will be yet another vehicle sat parked up in Mayfair.

    • Exactly. The only time these vehicles will be classed as ‘going off-road’ is when they’re parked with two wheels on the kerb outside Waitrose!

  2. How are they able to produce Defenders at all now? I was under the belief that production stopped in 2016 because they were no longer able to meet safety and emissions standards? There are still no airbags at all, couldnt possibly meet crash test standards etc?
    Having said that it looks gorgeous and if I had a spare £150K and a garage space…….

  3. Exactly two years ago I went to a lot of trouble to buy one of the last production batch [basic 90 County in Keswick green] for the very reason I would not get another one. I was told by the dealer there would be no more. Mine is a 65 plate but I have seen a few with 16 plates but nothing later. Like one of your previous contributors I cannot understand how it can be sold. At least mine cost £26440 and not this crazy price!

  4. think there may be a typo: ‘Gerry McGovern is keen to retain the look and feel of the outgoing Defender, lining it up as one of Land Rover’s core range pillars alongside Defender and Range Rover.’

  5. “re-engineered Defenders”

    I read that as building around an old Defender (and original numberplate), though likely to be Triggers broom Defenders, new chassis, panels etc. the only common feature could be the VIN plate 😀

    • Yep, reading further they are going to be built on late model Defenders with less than 20K miles, all fully rebuilt to “as new” spec by the classic restoration division, so not “new” Defenders at all then.

  6. I’m thinking they’ll do the adverts sell these to get the defender back into public minds then suddenly new defender will appear and be on sale

  7. Just seen an importer of cars from Japan selling a pristine 50th LE 90 V8 for £20k – I know which seems the better bargain! (He also has some very nice Range Rover Claasics and 38a’s)

  8. Looks gorgeous and good luck to Land Rover. If people want them, it’s great they are building them and selling them.

    The recent new Defender article and pics in Autocar were interesting.

    • Interesting but, sadly, fictional. The only thing we can tell from the testing mules (usually clothed under massively shortened RRS bodies), is the wheelbase and the rear suspension. The fairly realistic looking exterior “photos” were completely made up; it’s sad to see a once we’ll respected magazine descend to this, but it does appear to sell magazines.

  9. If you think the spirit of the true Land Rover is dead, it appears the Americans have taken it and distilled it into what I would suspect the Rover engineers would do if they set about doing the task in the 21st Century.

    I give you ladies and gentlemen the Bollinger B1 (hope you have seen this too JLR).

  10. You don’t buy one of these because you want an off-road vehicle, you buy one because you want the ultimate classic Defender. And why not? Brilliant!!!

    • I think you buy one of these if you want the ultimate Defender, if you want the ultimate classic Defender then it has a diesel engine and bumps and scrapes from its life on the farm or estate, because Land Rovers are working vehicles not Chelsea Tractors.

      Nothing against people buying one of these, but its to me not in the true spirit of the Defender.

  11. Another pointless vehicle for the over rich to attempt to laud it over others on the road. The vast majority of Land Rover products now never go anywhere near any sort of off road scenario, likewise all the other nonsensical 4×4’s and soft roaders. The sales people must be laughing their socks off at having been able to persuade the motoring public that they should spend so much money on vehicles they really don’t need, or in the main, know how to use. What a shame the manufacturers didn’t invest all the development money into actually making useful vehicles that were more fuel efficient and less polluting, something that all motorists would benefit from.

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