Land Rover Defender gets thumping V8 for its 70th birthday

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Land Rover Defender celebrates 70th anniversary with limited V8 Works Edition

It may be riding off into the sunset soon, but Land Rover is keen on giving the Defender a very special send off. In celebration of the nameplate's 70th anniversary, Land Rover recently unveiled the limited Defender Works V8 Edition.

The 70th anniversary special pays homage to early-generation models that came with a V8. Among the 4x4s that it pays respects too are the Series III Stage 1 from 1979 and the 50th Anniversary Edition which is sought after by collecters.

“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,” said Tim Hannig, Director at Jaguar Land Rover Classic.

From the outside, it looks like any other Defender. It gets the same set of headlights, turn signal indicators and grill. However, this V8-powered ditches halogen for brighter LED lighting. Shod in the wheel wells are exclusive 18-inch diamond cut Sawtooth alloys wrapped in 265/65/R18 all-terrain tires.

A total of eight different colors can be specified for the Defender Works V8, including two satin finishes. Meawnhile, the aluminum door handles, front grill, wheel arches, fuel filler cap and 'Defender' badging at the front are all painted Santorini Black.

Inside, the V8-powered Defender is blanketed in full Windsor leather. It covers the Recaro sport seats, dashboard, door panels and headlining. It even comes with a Classic Infotainment system made by the company that looks period-correct but comes with modern amenities like navigation.

As mentioned earlier, this Defender gets a mighty 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 under the hood. The engine generates 405 PS at 6000 rpm along with 515 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. It can go from 0 – 97 km/h in 5.6 seconds before reaching a limited top speed of 170 km/h.  

Power is then sent to all four wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Other than that, the Defender V8 is also equipped with a two-speed transfer box, heavy-duty front and rear differentials, and a torque-biasing center differential.

Aside from its running gear, Land Rover also fitted the V8 4x4 with more powerful disc brakes with four-piston calipers. As for its suspension, both the front and rear live axles come with coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bars.

The V8 Defender Works Edition will be available in either 90 or 110 wheelbase configurations and will only be limited to 150 examples.

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