Land Rover Defender Works V8 is Most Powerful Defender Ever

By - Land Rover Defender Works V8

Limited edition Defender offers exclusivity, and a 5.0-liter V8 with 399 horsepower.

The Land Rover Defender is not dead yet. Technically.

The automaker is celebrating its 70th anniversary as a brand with the 2018 Defender Works V8. According to Land Rover, it “pays homage to the early high-powered engines in both the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition,” which featured a fuel-injected 4.0-liter V8 with 190 horsepower. Land Rover Defender Works V8

Land Rover carefully selected and re-engineered Defender 90s and 110s to fit JLR’s 5.0-liter V8, making them the first official Defenders to have a V8 engine since 1998. The naturally-aspirated power plant generates 399 horsepower (405 PS) and 380 lb-ft (515 Nm) of torque. That’s quite a step up from the Series III Stage 1 V8’s 190 horsepower. Engineers connected it to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Flat out, the Defender Works V8 can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. It will also spin its 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tires to a top speed of 106 mph. Those specs mean the Defender Works V8 is the quickest, most powerful Defender in Land Rover history.


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Handling hardware including re-tuned springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars, keep these mighty Defenders road-ready, even with the extra power. Additionally, 13-inch front and 11.8-inch rear brakes with four-piston calipers keep adventurous drivers from an untimely demise.

Land Rover will offer the Defender Works V8 in eight standard body colors accented with a Santorini Black grille, roof, and wheel arches. Machined aluminum door handles, gas cap, and hood letters add touches of brightwork. So do the bi-LED headlamps.

Inside, Windsor Leather covers the dashboard, door panels, headliner, and Recaro sport seats. Infotainment comes courtesy of Land Rover Classic.

Land Rover will only produce a total of 150 Defender Works V8s. They will be sold directly through Land Rover Classic to customers in the UK, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa on a personal import basis. Prices start at £150,000.

*Time quoted is for Defender 90

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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