Land Rover reveals 400bhp Defender Works V8 | Top Gear
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Land Rover reveals 400bhp Defender Works V8

Fastest and most powerful Land Rover Defender ever is all kinds of excellent

Published: 17 Jan 2018

We suspect that during the course of this story, you might experience strange, perhaps even supernatural forces befuddling your senses. Rest assured: this proves that you are still human.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Land Rover Defender has returned. Sort of. This is the Defender Works V8, built as a limited-run special edition that both pays homage to those early V8 performance Defenders, and to the Land Rover marque’s 70th anniversary.

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And it is simply excellent. Of this, there can be no disagreement.

The idea emerged only a few years back, when in 2014 – while the old Defender was still busy trundling off LR’s production line and into your hearts (and workshops, no doubt) – the company recognised the sheer need for something packing a haymaker.

Thus, we come to the Defender Works V8’s powerplant: a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated unit with 400bhp and 380lb ft of torque; an ethereal cry from the regular Defender’s 120bhp. As such, this Works V8 will go from 0-60mph in 5.6s, and top out at 106mph. Trust us, you really don’t want to be going any faster in something like this.

It’ll be attached to an eight-speed ZF auto ‘box with a ‘sport’ mode (sport mode, in a Defender!), bigger brakes, better springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and 18in alloys and all-terrain tyres. In turn, this lot will be sandwiched into 150 ‘specially selected’ re-engineered Defender chassis’, available in either 90 or 110 variants.

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You choose from eight body colours that contrast with a black roof, and get machined aluminium handles, fuel cap and Defender lettering on the bonnet. Bi-LED headlights complement the external make-up, while inside you get a swathe of Windsor leather, Recaro sports seats and LR Classic’s infotainment system.

Admittedly, some sections among you might raise a Roger Moore-esque eyebrow at the thought of a 70-year old chassis being sportified and shined up with a massively powerful V8. Well, Merc hasn’t done too bad with the G Wagen AMGs, and anyway, it just works.

Prices however, might not work for you: they start at a whopping £150,000 for the 90 chassis. A high price for a high-performance block of nostalgia, or a fitting tribute to a British icon? Scroll through the pics above, soak up the details and fire away below...

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