2021 Land Rover Defender V8 revealed: price, specs and release date

New Land Rover Defender V8 continues a long tradition of the British brand squeezing big capacity engines into its most rugged model...

Land Rover Defender V8 front

On sale Now | Price from £98,505

Last week, Land Rover confirmed plans for a fully electric version of the Defender. And now we have the yin to that model’s yang: the Land Rover Defender V8.

The V8 in question is a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol unit that produces 518bhp and 461lb ft of torque. That’s slightly down on the figures of the Range Rover Sport SVR, but still enough for 0-60mph in 4.9sec and a top speed of 149mph.

The Defender V8 also gets unique suspension tuning and an electronic active rear differential to improve its cornering composure and agility. Plus, there’s a new Dynamic driving mode, which sharpens up the accelerator and steering responses, further tightens body control and turns up the volume on the engine.

Land Rover Defender V8 dashboard

Visual details that mark the V8 out from lesser Defenders include quad exhausts, dark grey, 22in alloy wheels and bright blue brake calipers. Meanwhile, inside, the seats are upholstered in leather and suede, the steering wheel and gear lever are trimmed with Alcantara, and the dashboard has a satin black finish.

All of this doesn’t come cheap, though, with the three-door 90 version of the Defender V8 costing from £98,505 and the five-door 110 £101,150. And, unsurprisingly, it likes a drink, returning an official average of 19.5mpg.

Then again, you’d pay £153,995 for the Mercedes-AMG G63, which also shoehorns a V8 into a go-anywhere off-roader, making it the rival that’s probably closest in character to the range-topping Defender.

Land Rover Defender V8 rear

The Defender V8 is being introduced at the same time as several tweaks that apply across the Defender range, with wireless phone charging and an 11.4in touchscreen infotainment system available for the first time; the standard screen remains 10.0in.

There’s also a wider range of exterior styling packs. And First Edition trim has been replaced with XS Edition, which sits above SE in the line-up, and includes Matrix LED headlights, an 11-speaker Meridian sound system and 12-way electrically adjustable front seats that allow you to save your preferred settings.

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