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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Land Rover Defender back from the dead with special V8 version

The upgraded version of the classic off-roader precedes an all-new model

The V8 model will be the fastest and most powerful Defender ever. Jaguar Land Rover
The V8 model will be the fastest and most powerful Defender ever. Jaguar Land Rover

Land Rover’s iconic Defender will be re-animated as a limited-edition V8 to mark the British-born brand’s 70th anniversary this year.

The 5.0-litre Defender Works V8 will be the fastest and most powerful version of the long-running model, which was developed from the original post-Second World War Land Rover Series, with 400hp and a 0-to-100kph time of 5.6 seconds.

The Land Rover Defender Works V8 will be a limited-edition model, costing from about Dh750,000. Jaguar Land Rover
The Land Rover Defender Works V8 will be a limited-edition model, costing from about Dh750,000. Jaguar Land Rover

The souped-up off-roader has improved brakes, springs, dampers and anti-roll-bars, plus an eight-speed automatic transmission with a sport mode, as well as upgraded bi-LED headlamps.

Its current manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, plans to make “up to 150” of the high-performance Defender, in 90 and 110 wheelbase forms. Prices will start at about Dh750,000.

The V8 incarnation had been discussed by the company as far back as 2014, when the regular model was still in production.

The final Defender rolled off the production line two years ago this month, after new European safety regulations made its design untenable.

The souped-up Defender maintains the long-running model's classic look. Jaguar Land Rover
The souped-up Defender maintains the long-running model's classic look. Jaguar Land Rover

While Land Rover is yet to release any official details, an all-new replacement is predicted to be unveiled either later this year or next year, with various renderings being circulated around the motoring world in the interim. A fully-electric Defender has also been mooted to follow in 2020.

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