525 bhp… 0-60 in 4.9 secs… top speed 149 mph


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V8_NEW_DEFENDER Distinctive new look reflects the big changes under the bonnet of the V8 : credit: © JLR
Are you brave enough to take on new V8 Defender?

If you’re of a nervous disposition, you may want to look away now. But if you’re brave enough to read on, we’d like to introduce you to the fastest and most powerful production Defender ever made.

Land Rover has announced a treasure trove of enhancements and upgrades for new Defender that include an astonishing V8  supercharged version that churns out 525 hp, is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and nudges the 150 mph mark.

The new Defender V8 and flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition provide a unique combination of performance and capability, which the company says is “built on decades of Land Rover V8 heritage”. But comparing the newcomer to the original Stage I V8 of the late 1970s is like comparing a mountain lion to a domestic tabby. Make no mistake about it: this beast is the Lion King.

It delivers exciting new levels of performance and driver engagement by combining that powerful 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine with suspension and transmission tuning to create the fastest and best-handling Defender yet.

The exclusive new Carpathian Edition is based on the Defender V8, but that's not where it ends. There’s also a new XS Edition, fresh exterior design packs that provide greater personalisation potential and an optional larger infotainment touchscreen.

It's a Defender, but not how we know it! Note the sumptuous leather seats and big infotainment touchscreen

Defender’s customisation potential has been expanded with the introduction of new exterior trim packages (Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack). Latest connectivity is also part of the updates, with state-of-the-art Pivi Pro touchscreen now available. These include a larger 11.4 inch display and wireless device charging with integrated signal booster for improved convenience and call quality.

David Hemming, JLR’s chief product engineer, says: “The introduction of our V8 powertrain adds a new dimension of driving engagement and off-road capability to Defender. Fast and fun to drive, it is as rewarding on the road as it is capable off it.”

The potent new V8 supercharged 5.0-litre engine is available in both 90 and 110 body designs and delivers 525 hp, 625 Nm of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Defender V8 90 accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. The top speed is limited to 149 mph, but there’s no doubt independent tuners will be taking it way beyond 150 mph. Fuel consumption is rated up to 19.5 mpg , with CO2 emissions from 327 g/km.

With the V8 comes a new Dynamic mode within the Terrain Response system, helping the driver to exploit the more powerful model on tarmac and loose surfaces, delivering unrivalled agility and driver appeal.

Larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars help reduce body roll in extreme cornering, while Electronic Active Rear Differential introduces a Yaw Controller that allows fine control of cornering as it reaches – and exceeds – the limit of grip.

Defender V8 also features unique exterior enhancements; bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22 inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish.

Careful acoustic tuning of Defender V8’s induction and exhaust systems provides a purposeful and authentic rasp, which can be enhanced by selecting Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response system.

There’s a choice of three colours: Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black (with the grey and white options offering a contrast roof in Narvik Black). Shadow Atlas detailing completes new Defender V8’s distinctive exterior finish.

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Inside, Defender V8 features seats trimmed in Ebony Windsor leather. The four-spoke Alcantara steering wheel and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles are unique to V8 models. Leather covers the airbag housing and gear lever, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script.


Carpathian Edition

Defender V8 Carpathian Edition represents the pinnacle of the Defender range, says JLR. Finished exclusively in Carpathian Grey, it is distinguished by a Narvik Black contrast roof, bonnet and, for the first time on new Defender, tail door. The unique exterior is finished with Land Rover’s Satin Protective Film.


Defender XS  Edition

The new XS Edition replaces the First Edition. Positioned above the SE models, it features a unique exterior and interior treatment and is available in both 90 and 110 body designs. It can be identified by its bespoke body-coloured lower cladding and lower wheel arches, and distinctive 20 inch, contrast Satin Grey with diamond turned wheel. A choice of four exterior colour options is available: Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black.

Comprehensive standard specification includes Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Terrain Response. In addition, the XS Edition benefits from Matrix LED headlights with signature DRL, ClearSight interior Rear View camera technology and Pivi Pro infotainment system with 11 speaker Meridian sound system.

The XS Edition is available with a choice of powerful and efficient powertrains, including the P400 MHEV petrol, P400e Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and D250 Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Defender upgrades at a glance

• 525 hp supercharged V8 achieves 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds; 149 mph top speed

• Carpathian Edition combines the power and capability with unique design

• XS Edition features unique exterior and exciting specs• Personalised Bright Pack options provide greater scope for individuality

• 60% larger 11.4 inch touchscreen for intuitive Pivi Pro infotainment and wireless device charging

• Choice of 90, 110 and Hard Top derivatives, petrol and diesel engines, and a Plug-in Hybrid

• Defender 90 Hard Top 22MY from £36,886 (plus VAT). The new V8 90 has a starting price of £98,505, while the 110 is £101,150. For more information go to landrover.co.uk/Defender

You may also like: Exclusive £200,000 Defender Works V8 Trophy or JLR commits to an all-electric future


Did you know that you can now get access to the entire archive of Land Rover magazine content with our brand new digital archive? You can enjoy all the issues since the launch of the magazine – use the search bar below to find features, reviews and other great content: