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.


ALSO SEE: You Can Now Drive a Defender at Land Rover Experience Centers


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's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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