If you've seen our April issue, you'll have read all about the Works V8 Trophy Defenders Land Rover is making. With a production run of just 25 units, it's a true limited edition, and not only would the buyers get a fully kitted Defender, they would enjoy three days of using it properly at Eastnor Castle, Land Rover's legendary testing ground. No wonder they sold out in just three days.
The Defenders are reworked existing models, rather than new builds, and when LRO was last at Land Rover Classic Works at the tail end of 2020 there was a compound full of Defenders – presumably they were due to become these.
At first glance you may be mistaken for thinking it's a Camel Trophy Land Rover – the colours are similar, as is the equipment, but rather than being painted Sandglow, the traditional Camel colour, these are a new colour: Eastnor Yellow. The accents are Narvik Black.
But these vehicles are more than just their colours. Underneath is a full Works V8 package, which includes a 400bhp V8 engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and two-speed transfer box. The suspension is upgraded and the brakes are beefed up significantly. Strangely, the Defenders will be fitted with Goodyear MT/R tyres – which are a bit of a dated design now, but they are ones that Land Rover has offered to the original Defender as a factory fit over the years. They'll also have a Heritage grille and Nolden LED headlamps.
Other off-road kit fitted to the Defenders includes an external Safety Devices roll cage and roof rack, winch and soft A-Bar, roof rack mounted lights and a steering guard.
Inside, it's a touch more opulent than a standard Defender, with full black Windsor leather trim, including Recaro sports seats with contrasting yellow stitch detailing, plus a Land Rover Trophy clock face by Elliot Brown.
But with these limited editions, it's not all about the vehicles – they're part of a bigger package. The first time the owners will get to drive them is when they arrive at the Eastnor Castle estate for a three-day adventure. Expert one-to-one tuition will be provided , and owners will learn advanced off-road driving skills before putting them to the test on the tracks that have helped shaped Land Rover's abilities for more than 50 years.
We said there would be a good demand for the Defenders, which are available in 90 and 110 versions, despite the hefty starting price of £195k. That makes these the most expensive Defenders ever (if you exclude the 2-millionth...), and they even eclipse the price of a top-of-the-range Range Rover.
But this is not just about the vehicle – it's the full package that brought the buyers in. The combination of a V8 Defender and Eastnor's tracks proved irresistible – and rightly so!
Fancy getting your name down in case a buyer drops out? Head to the Land Rover Classic Works website.