How to make an homage edition - the Brits know what’s up. And here’s proof.
In 2018, the Land Rover Defender will celebrate its 70th anniversary and the landscape is a little different compared to its other decade milestones as an entirely new version of the iconic 4x4 is in nearing the end of its development cycle.
To commemorate that, the company has announced that it will be selling a limited run of high-performance re-engineered ‘Works’ examples. Importantly, they’ve shoehorned a their 5.0-litre V8 petrol into it - sans supercharger, unfortunately - to pay homage to the early Series III Stage 1 Defenders from 1979.
Naturally, with a modern V8 under its bonnet, these any one of these Defenders Works can now sprint from rest to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds thanks to 302kW and 515Nm being channelled through its all-wheel drive system. Due to gearing limitations, though, its top speed is a rather modest 170km/h.
The ratios (and off-road tyres) might be holding back the resurrected Defender’s flat out speed, but the ZF 8-speed automatic certainly isn’t a slouch in every other department, known for its quick shifts and smooth operation. Land Rover have even fitted these examples with 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels, upgraded suspension (springs, dampers, anti-roll bars), more powerful brakes, and even a sport mode (!).
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. A comprehensive lighting upgrade includes bi-LED headlamps.
Inside, these Defenders are decked out in full leather interior trim that overlays the dashboard, door panels, headlining. Meanwhile, the front passengers gets colour-matching Recaro sports seats.
Just like the 50th anniversary Land Rover Defenders from 1998, these special edition version are expected to be highly sought after collector’s items. Until the price appreciation starts to really kick in, though, these will be available for purchase from Land Rover Classic in both 90 and 110 wheelbase options for a cool starting price of £150,000 (approximately $260,000 Australian Dollars).
However, Land Rover will also be offering aftermarket upgrades for standard versions of the modern Defender, inspired by this Works 70th Anniversary edition, including power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, high-performance suspension, and braking kits.