Sometimes a vehicle that’s been officially killed-off by its manufacturer simply refuses to lie down and die, and that seems to be the case with the Land Rover Defender. Despite its agricultural nature and lack of creature comforts, it’s one of those vehicles that will always be loved by enthusiasts. It therefore shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Land Rover is producing a limited edition, high-performance version of the Defender to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary this year.
Iconic is a word that’s bandied around the motor industry a little more than perhaps it should be these days, but if there is a vehicle that thoroughly deserves to be regarded as a design icon, it has to be the Defender.
Only 150 units of the Defender Works V8 will be produced to mark this milestone anniversary for the Land Rover brand, and they won’t be like any Defender the company has built for some time. Although the Defender was exclusively a diesel vehicle for many, many years until it was discontinued, this one will have a 5.0-liter petrol V8 under the hood that will develop some 298kW. And that should get the “Landy” from 0 to 100km/h in as little as 5.6 seconds, and onwards to a new top speed of 170km/h.
This limited edition Defender Works V8 is intended to pay homage to early models with high-powered engines such as the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition, which are now highly desirable and sought after by today’s enthusiasts and collectors.
Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said of the special edition Defender: “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.”
There will be 90 and 110 wheelbase versions of the Defender Works V8 available in eight standard body colors that include two satin finishes, and they will be available to purchase direct from Land Rover Classic with prices starting from £150 000 (about $207 000) for a 90 in the UK. – AFP Relaxnews