JLR unleashes 400bhp Defender Works V8

400bhp V8 Defender created for Land Rover’s 70th anniversary

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There’s nothing quite like a V8 engine. And there’s nothing quite like a Defender. So, fusing the two together to create a special 70th anniversary edition is the stuff of dreams – and that’s what Land Rover Classic are doing with the 70th Edition.

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These aren’t ‘new’ Defenders, though. Like the company’s Reborn restorations, the Defender Works V8 will be re-engineered vehicles, completely rebuilt and fitted with JLR’s 5.0-litre 400bhp naturally aspirated V8 engine, coupled to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. That'll give a 90 exceptional performance, propelling it from 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds.

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Up to 150 units will be built, and the starting price is a cool £150,000 for 90 models. 110 models will also be available.

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So, what do you get for your money? Well, you’ll get a fully rebuilt and re-engineered Defender with the V8 engine and eight-speed gearbox, complete with pistol shifter. The two-speed transfer box is fitted with a torque-biasing centre differential, while the front and rear diffs are heavy-duty.

Brakes are beefed up too, with 335mm front and 300mm rear discs and four-pot cylinders front and rear. These push the standard wheel size up to 18-inch, and the diamond-turned Sawtooth alloys are shod with 265/85 R18 BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres. A handling kit including front and rear anti-roll bars is also fitted.

The exterior is finished off with rear LED stop/tail and indicators, and Nolden LED headlights, as fitted to the Defender Celebration models in 2015.

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Inside, full Windsor Leather interior trim covers the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro Sports seats. In car entertainment is brought to you by Land Rover Classic’s own Classic Infotainment System.

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.’

We’d heard the rumours of the V8 special editions, before the launch of the Celebration Editions, and were a little disappointed not to see a V8 model among them. At least that has now been addressed and the 70th Edition will be available in the UK, and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) markets on a personal import basis. European market availability is also on an individual import basis, subject to rules on importation of vehicle conversions.

Interested? Drop Land Rover Classic a line at: info@classic.landrover.co.uk or visit Land Rover Classic

Land Rover Defender Works V8 – 70th Edition Tech Spec

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  • Engine: 4999cc V8 naturally-aspirated petrol (EU5)
  • Max power: 400bhp@ 6000rpm
  • Max torque: 380lb ft @ 5000rpm
  • 0-60mph: 5.6 seconds (90 station wagon)
  • Top Speed: 106mph (limited)
  • Gearbox: 8-speed ZF automatic, 2-speed transfer box with torque-biasing centre diff
  • Brakes: 335mm front, 300mm rear. 4-piston calipers
  • Wheels: 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy
  • Tyres: 265/65 R18 BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2
  • Price: from £150,000 (Defender 90)
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