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Land Rover celebrates 70 years with limited edition Defender V8

A limited run of up to 150 re-engineered V8-powered versions of the Land Rover Defender has been announced, celebrating the marque’s 70th anniversary.

The Defender Works V8 pays tributeto the early high-powered engines in both the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition, which are currently much sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.

The Works V8 is the most powerful and fastest Defender that Land Rover has ever created. Its 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V8 powertrain produces 405PS and 515 Nm of torque (compared to the standard Defender's 122PS and 360 Nm), enabling it to accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.6sec on its way to a top speed of 106mph.

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: “The idea of reintroducing a V8 Defender was something we were discussing as far back as 2014, when we were still building the Defender in Solihull. We knew the demand was there for a powerful and fast Defender; the Land Rover authenticity is the ultimate finishing touch for discerning clients purchasing these collector’s edition Defenders.”

The V8 powertrain will be fitted to 150 specially-selected and re-engineered Defenders for the 70th Edition, complemented by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars), plus exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres.

Eight standard body colours include two satin finishes – contrasting with a Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille – finished with machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering, set off by upgraded bi-LED headlamps.

Windsor Leather upholstery runs throughout the cabin, covering the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats, while infotainment comes courtesy of the Land Rover Classic system.

Both 90 and 110 wheelbase Defender Works V8 derivatives will be available direct from Land Rover Classic, with prices starting from £150,000.

A series of high-performance upgrades inspired by the Defender Works V8 will also be available soon, including power hikes for the TDCi diesel engine, braking kits and fast-road suspension.