Land Rover launches 400hp V8 Defender

Land Rover has given its iconic Defender one last hurrah by slotting a massive 5 litre V8 into its engine bay.

The transplant makes the so-called Works V8 the most powerful Defender ever produced and its claimed 5.6s 0 to 60 time means it’ll spank all but the spiciest of hot hatchbacks off the line.

As for engine performance, the normally aspirated V8 develops 400hp and 515Nm of torque (standard models are good for 120hp and 360Nm) and its top speed has been limited to 106mph. That’s still 16mph up on the last of the diesel models, though.

See also: Billionaire unveils plan for Defender-style 4×4

To help cope with the considerable power hike, Land Rover engineers have fitted uprated brakes, springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, as well as 18-inch rims wrapped in 265mm-wide all-terrain tyres.

All models also get an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode and pistol-style shifter, a two-speed transfer box, heavy-duty front and rear differentials and a torque-biasing centre diff.

Limited run

A maximum of 150 of the limited-edition models will be produced with 70th Anniversary branding. Land Rover says the Defender Works V8 “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.

Both 90 and 110 models will be offered through Land Rover Classic and there’s the choice of eight body colours. Inside, the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats are all trimmed in leather and there’s a Land Rover Classic screen fitted in the dash.

Buyers will have to dig deep if they want one though, with prices for a 90 model at £150,000.

As well as the new V8 model, Land Rover is offering some high-performance upgrades for more standard models, including power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, fast-road suspension and braking kits.

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