In the Spotlight – Land Rover Defender V8 Works {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

2 Feb 2018

Okay, let’s get this out of the way straight away – this new V8 Works Defender is expensive. Stupidly, ridiculously, absurdly expensive. Yes, you could go to Twisted or Urban and they would create a V8 powered Defender for 2/3rds of the £150,000 that Land Rover will charge you for this Works 70th Anniversary edition. But; and this is the killer here, they aren’t genuine and for that reason alone the official car is going to be an investment. They’re only making 150 and they’ll soon be sold out, meaning they are going to hold their value incredibly well.

But who buys a 399bhp V8 4x4 based on a 70yr old design and doesn’t take it straight to the nearest muddy farmer’s field and drive like a hooligan? An idiot, that’s who. Also known as a ‘collector’ – those who like to take limited edition cars and put them in plastic bubbles and hope they rise in value like investments, not drive them as they were intended. Makes me sick… anyway I digress.

Back to the V8 Works Defender. In all fairness to Land Rover, this is as far from a dirty backstreet workshop hack job as you can get, with chassis ‘recommissioned’ and then sent to SVO – the geniuses behind the Range Rover Sport and F-Type SVRs – so they can rebuild the Works V8 from the ground-up as a new vehicle. The biggest change is of course the drivetrain – the engine is Jaguar’s 5.0 litre naturally aspirated V8 which produces 399bhp and 515Nm of torque. If you’ve ever driven a Defender, you’ll know straight away why they didn’t use the supercharged version – it will be frightening enough with 399bhp! That power is sent to the Defender’s stout four-wheel drive system via ZF’s 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is controlled using the Powershift gear selector from the Range Rover Sport, somewhat incongruously inserted into the Defender’s boxy dash next to the range selector. The rest of the interior has been given a serious makeover too, with every surface covered in leather including the Recaro sports seats and there’s an uprated infotainment system along with more sound deadening.

Of course if you just stuck a 399bhp V8 in a Defender and didn’t change anything else there would be 150 crashed Defender V8 Works out there, so of course Land Rover have gone to town on the hardware too with uprated brakes, a handling kit consisting of springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and exclusive 18in alloys with 265/65 tyres.

You can choose from eight colours with contrasting gloss black roof, arches and grille. But I’d go for the red of this first built press car, it’s a glorious shade. Pictures are all well and good of course but Land Rover put together a suitably cheesy promotional video for the Works V8 so I’ll let them show it to you in glorious moving pictures:

The Land Rover Defender V8 Works is available until midnight on Sunday so get some tickets while you can!