Land Rover gives its Defender a V8 heart

LAND ROVER has launched the powerful Defender V8 as part of a range of enhancements to its unstoppable and award-winning 4×4 family, and we can confirm it’s headed to Australia.

The new 386kW Defender V8 provides a unique combination of performance and capability, with bespoke chassis settings delivering new levels of driver engagement and agility both on and off-road.

The Defender V8 builds on the rugged 4×4’s class-leading capability, delivering new levels of performance and driver engagement by combining a powerful 386kW 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine with expertly developed suspension and transmission tuning.

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The potent engine is available in 90 and 110 body designs and delivers elevated performance and driver engagement without compromising the Defender’s unstoppable capability.

With unique suspension and transmission tuning, including bespoke spring and damper rates and a new electronic active rear differential, it delivers more agile and engaging handling with heightened body control, all accompanied by a characteristic V8 soundtrack.

With 625Nm of torque, driven through an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Defender V8 90 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 240km/h. A new Dynamic program with Terrain Response is exclusive to the V8 models.

Larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars help reduce body roll in extreme cornering, while the unique diff introduces a yaw controller that allows fine control of the Defender V8’s cornering attitude as it reaches and exceeds the limit of grip.

Instantly recognisable, the Defender V8 features a number of unique exterior enhancements, including bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish.

The Defender V8 is further identified by its Xenon Blue front brake callipers and 20-inch brake discs. Customers have a choice of three colours, including Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black, all with a contrast roof in Narvik Black.

Shadow Atlas exterior detailing completes the Defender V8’s distinctive exterior finish, while inside,  seats are trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor leather with Miko suede cloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a unique Ebony tag.

The Defender’s exposed cross car beam has a special Satin Black finish. The four-spoke steering wheel is enhanced by an Alcantara rim and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles, which are unique to V8 models.

Leather covers the airbag housing and gear lever, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script. The V8 petrol engine isn’t the only new introduction, though, as there’s also a new XS Edition, which replaces the hugely successful First Edition.

The new XS Edition adds bespoke design and specification enhancements inside and out, while the Defender’s personalisation potential has also been expanded too, with fresh exterior design packs, and an optional larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen.

The introduction of a new Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack feature bespoke exterior trims to enhance Defender’s unmistakable silhouette. Wireless device charging is now fitted as standard with the Comfort and Convenience Pack too.

Positioned above the SE models, the XS Edition features a unique exterior and interior treatment and is available in both 90 and 110 body designs. Externally, it’s identified by its bespoke body-coloured lower cladding and lower wheel arches.

It also has distinctive 20-inch, contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels finished in Satin Grey, and is available in four exterior colours, including Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black.

Inside, the XS Edition’s 12-way, heated and electric memory seats are finished in grained Leather, while the cross car beam has a Light Grey powder coat brushed finish, and there are illuminated metal treadplates.

Comprehensive standard specs include electronic air suspension, adaptive dynamics and configurable terrain response feature, along with matrix LED headlights with signature DRLs, ClearSight rear view mirror technology and a 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

The XS Edition is available exclusively with the powerful P400 petrol powertrain. Pricing is set to start from $110,640 (plus on-roads) for the XS Edition, through to $200,540 (plus on-roads) for the range topping V8 variant.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8
Inside the Land Rover Defender V8 (overseas model shown)
Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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