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.
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?
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.’