It’s been two years since Land Rover ceased production of its most iconic — hell, the most iconic — 4×4, the Defender. But to celebrate the birth of the boxy, bold, and quintessentially British vehicle 70 years ago, the automaker is bringing the old Defender back for a limited run — only this time it’s faster and stronger than ever before. They’re calling it the Defender Works V8. That works for us.
For those who are fans of the Defender’s vintage design (and there are a lot of us out there), fret not at the possibility of a distasteful reproduction of the classic silhouette. That instantly recognizable shape — the one that stands tall and proud as it drives by, either on the highway or out in the rough — remains intact, while allowing for the tantalizingly new and improved specs to still fit under the hood.
The 5-litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine will deliver 405PS and 515 Nm of torque. Compare that to the regular Defender’s engine coming in at 122PS and 360 Nm of torque, and this special edition is one spicy meatball.
The new V8 engine will also be much quicker off the mark, able to go from 0-100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds. But the masterminds over at Land Rover didn’t stop there. The Defender Works hits a top speed of 170 km/h.
Of course, as with most good things in life, there is a catch: these new-old Defenders are going to be frustratingly hard to get your mitts on. Land Rover is only committing to producing 150 of them. It’s not yet clear how that number will be split between the production of the model 110s (110-inch wheelbase) and 90s (93-inch wheelbase), but should you happen to come across either one of them, consider yourself lucky.
Pricing starts at $258,138 for a 90 model, and is sure to go up for a 110 model. If you’ve got that kind of pocket change, and find yourself in the queue of 150 eager buyers, all that’s left to do is choose a colour from the eight that Land Rover’s provided as options.
If you ask me, however, nothing says “Defender” more than British racing green. (Although, realistically, I’d take whatever I could get.)