Land Rover is expected to launch a brand new Defender later this year. But until then, the automaker is re-engineering 150 examples of the current Defender with a more powerful 5.0-liter V-8 engine and selling them as limited-edition models.
The Land Rover Defender Works V8 pays tribute to the engines in the Series III Stage 1 V-8 from 1979 and subsequent models including the 50th Anniversary Edition. The new model is the most powerful and fastest Defender ever created, the automaker says. The naturally aspirated V-8 gas engine makes 399 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, ahead of the old Defender’s 120 hp and 266 lb-ft. Top speed is 106 mph, and Land Rover says the model should be able to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.6 seconds.
Land Rover paired the engine to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with Sport mode. The model also receives upgraded brakes and a handling kit, including springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. In addition to 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels, the model boasts 265/65 R18 all-terrain tires.
Eight standard paint colors are available. The models receive a black roof, grille, and wheel arches as well as aluminum door handles and fuel filler cap. Bi-LED headlamps are another upgrade, and you’ll also find special badges that commemorate the limited-edition model. Inside, look for modern accouterments such as leather upholstery, Recaro sport seats, and an infotainment system from Land Rover Classic.
Prices start at £150,000 in the U.K. The model is available for direct purchase from Land Rover Classic, which will also sell parts inspired by the Defender Works V8 in the near future.
The limited-edition Defender celebrates Land Rover’s 70th anniversary this year. An even bigger celebration will come when Land Rover introduces a new Defender. This model is expected to make its way to the U.S. sitting on the same aluminum-intensive architecture as the Range Rover Sport. Expect it to receive significant improvements in ride, handling, interior quality, and safety compared to its predecessor.