Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
25 Feb 2021
8:05 am

V8 returns to power fastest Land Rover Defender ever made

Charl Bosch

The supercharged V8's 386 kW is a considerable step-up from the 132 kW produced by the old 3.9 Rover V8 powered Defender.

New Land Rover Defender V8

With reports dating back to 2019, Land Rover officially revealed the first mass produced V8-powered Defender overnight since the Rover V8 engined original from over two decades ago.

Excluding the limited edition V8 Works introduced three years ago, the new Defender V8 will be offered in short wheelbase 90 and long wheelbase 110 bodystyles with motivation coming from the stalwart Ford-based 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that sends 386kW/625Nm to all four wheels via the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Significantly up on the Rover V8 Defender, whose 3.9-litre displacement yielded a mere 132kW/314Nm, the new bent-eight V8 allows the fastest and most powerful Defender ever made to get from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds in the case of the 90, and on to a limited top speed of 240 km/h.

Like the Works, and more recently the Works V8 Trophy, the V8 is the work of Solihull’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) divisions and while it appears unchanged from a standard diesel or petrol Defender, subtle cues, on the outside, betrays its identity in the form quad exhaust outlets, Satin Dark Grey 22-inch alloy wheels, model specific badging and Xenon Blue brake calipers.

Just as minor are the tweaks inside consisting of an Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, satin chrome gear shift paddles, a leather covered gear lever, illuminated V8 treadplates and special Ebony Windsor leather seats with suede cloth and robustec inserts. In accordance with the standard Defender, the V8 also receives the upgraded Pivi Pro infotainment system with the display increasing from ten-inches to 11.4-inches, albeit as a cost option.

Reserved for the V8 is a special Carpathian Edition which retains the interior fixtures, but boasts a Carpathian Grey paint finish and a Narvik Black roof, bonnet and tailgate door to go with the already mentioned cosmetic tweaks.

In the UK, the Defender V8 will have a choice of three colours; Yulong White, Santorini Black and Carpathian Grey with pricing from £98 505 (R2 020 986) for the 90 and £101 150 (R2 075 253) for the 110. Land Rover South Africa has confirmed that the V8 will become available towards the end of this year, but that pricing would only be announced closer to the local launch date.

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