New Land Rover Defender V8 packs 518bhp and £100k price tag

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th February 2021, 12:20 pm

Land Rover has revealed its new Defender V8 promising the most powerful, most dynamic Defender in its history.

After months of dropping hints about the new car, Land Rover has finally launched the V8 model in both 90 and 110 variants. Both use the supercharged 5.0-litre engine previous found in models such as the Range Rover Sport SVR and Jaguar F-Type.

Producing 518bhp and 461lb ft, that’s enough to get the Defender V8 90 to 60mph in just 4.9 seconds and on top a top speed of 149mph. As you’d expect that’s not great news for fuel efficiency, with official combined economy of 19.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 327g/km.

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Thankfully, to help keep all that power under control, the Defender’s chassis has received some attention for the V8 upgrade. The suspension has been retuned with new spring and damper rates and there is stiffer bushing and thicker, firmer anti-roll bars along with a new electronic active rear diff with yaw controller.

Land Rover says that recalibrating the Terrain Response 2 drive controller, including the addition of a dynamic mode, means the Defender V8 is “more agile, playful and responsive” than standard versions without losing any of its famed off-road ability.

Externally, the Defender V8 is marked out from lesser models by bespoke badging, quad exhausts, unique 22-inch grey alloy wheels and brake calipers finished in Xenon Blue. Only three paint finishes are on offer - Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black - with the grey and white options offering a contrast roof in Narvik Black.

Inside, the Defender V8 is upholstered in exclusive black Windsor leather with Dinamica suede and “Robustec” fabric accents and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and satin chrome shift paddles set it apart from other versions.

If that’s not enough, there’s a new range-topping V8 Carpathian Edition. Mechanically the same as other V8s, the Carpathian Edition comes only in Carpathian Grey with a Narvic Black contrast finish to the roof, bonnet and tailgate. A special film coating gives the paintwork a semi-matte finish as well as protecting against damage to the paint.

Prices for the Defender V8 start at £98,505 for the 90 and £101,150 for the 110.

The launch of the new Defender V8 comes hot on the heels of plans to sell a limited run of reengineered original Defender V8s. The 25 Works V8 Trophy cars are being developed by Land Rover Classic and blend the iconic looks of the original Defender with modern technology and a more luxurious interior.