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Land Rover Defender returns as limited ‘Works’ V8

By Chris Thompson, 17 Jan 2018 News

Land Rover Defender Works V8

Only 150 examples of the celebratory Defenders will be built

The iconic Land Rover Defender has returned. And it’s got a dirty big engine.

This is the Land Rover Defender Works V8, and it’s the most powerful and fastest production Defender ever built.

With 298kW and 515Nm being pumped out of a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre bent eight, the Works V8 is capable of 170km/h.

While all of this doesn’t sound like a big deal by today’s standards, it’s worth remembering that the defender has changed very little since its inception seven decades ago. Land Rover says the standard Defender was putting out 90kW and 360Nm.

This makes the V8’s claimed 5.6 second sprint to 97km/h all the more impressive.

Even more interesting is the use of Sport Mode in the re-engineered Defenders, complimented by upgraded brakes and a handling kit.

Only 150 will be built, from both ‘90’ and ‘110’ wheelbase Defenders, with prices in the UK starting from £150,000.

Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig says keeping the Defender badge around for 70 years was a feat worth celebrating, and that’s where the Works V8 comes in.

Original Range Rover reborn by Land Rover Classic

“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,” says Hannig.

"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 collectors’ edition Defenders.”

Land Rover says it will continue the lineage of the Defender badge, even though the original is now a thing of the past.