At the start of 2016, Land Rover killed the Defender after 67 years of production, to the heartbreak of anyone with the slightest affection for cars.
Fast forward two years though, and everyone’s favourite blocky SUV has made a much welcome return. That’s right, the Defender is back and it’s meaner than ever.
The Defender Works V8 – which has been devised to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Land Rover brand – uses a naturally aspirated five-litre petrol V8 engine with a power output of 399bhp to race up to 60mph in 5.6 seconds, picking up pace until it hits a limited top speed of 106mph.
The SUV’s engine comes linked to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and includes uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars), as well as exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres.
Buyers can choose from eight standard body colours, including two satin finishes, contrasting with a Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille, and finished with machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering.
Tim Hannig, director for Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic division, believes the Defender Works V8 could be the model’s best ever version.
“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,” he commented.
“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.”
The Defender Works V8 will be available in two wheelbases – the 90 and 110 – with prices starting from £150,000.
What do you think of the ‘back-from-the-dead’ Defender? Tell us down there in the comments.