Land Rover Defender lives again

With the start of petrol engine production last year the Jaguar Land Rover plant on the i54 is the UK's busiest auto engine factory

The Defender Works V8 pays homage to 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 today highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.

With a 5.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine, the Defender Works produces 400bhp and 380lb/ft - up just a touch from the standard Defender's 120bhp and 266lb/ft.

The last Land Rover Defender rolled off the production line in January 2016, in preparation for its replacement which is due in 2019.

In celebration of Land Rover's 70th anniversary, the British brand has unveiled a limited-edition, high-performance version of the now-defunct Defender SUV.

Land Rover will mate the V8 engine to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, beefed up brakes and "handling kit" which includes new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.

According to Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, "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". Surrounding these are a set of 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels wearing 265/65 all-terrain tyres.

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Customers can choose from eight body colours, and contrasting details, plus aluminum door handles, fuel filler cap, bonnet lettering, and some LED lights.

To ensure the acceleration excitement isn't followed by a catastrophe at the arrival of every corner, Land Rover has fit up some 335mm front discs with four-piston calipers, and 300mm rear discs also with four-piston calipers.

The new collector's edition Works V8 cars will all be badged with a special 70th Edition plate as the fastest Land Rover ever made, although don't get too excited over there - the top speed is only 170km/h... Which is pretty phenomenal when you think about their relative aerodynamic qualities.

Land Rover Classics are re-engineering 150 Defenders to the V8 Works spec in both 90 and 110 guise, with the Works V8 90 costing from £150,000.

Inside, Land Rover will give all examples full Windsor leather extending to the dash, door cards, headliner and seats.

The special edition will go on sale in both 90 and 110 wheelbase form, and in the United Kingdom only (unfortunately).

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