The Land Rover Defender Works V8 is gloriously silly
Ever since the last heritage edition Defenders rolled off the production line two years ago we've been waiting on [UNKNOWN] hooks for a new one.
And now we have one, here it is.
All right, it's not quite what we were expecting.
It's not actually new, but it has got a V8 under the bonnet.
So let's go for a drive.
Who parked in a puddle?
That's right, I did.
The Defender works V8 is a limited edition run of 150 cars to celebrate Land Rover's 70th birthday, it is being produced here in the new Jaguar Land Rover classic workshop, where they also service XJ T20s, build new XK Ss and recondition Series 1s.
It is important to point out hat these are not new vehicles however Landrover's been busy buying up good, low mileage, late examples of 19110 Defenders from the last 4 years of production to revert to this V8 spec.
And what does that transformation involve?
Well the engine's a naturally aspirated five liter V8.
Putting out 399 break horse power and 380 pounds of torque through a zerouv eight speed.
The springs, stampers, anti-roll bars and breaks have thankfully all been upgraded accordingly.
There are new LED headlights front and rear, the door handles are machined from bullet aluminum, there's a full leather-trim interior, and a newly launched DAB classic radio where bluetooth and satnav have been installed, but what does it feel like when you're perched up high.
When traveling down the road behind that V8.
There is something gloriously silly about Defender with a V8 in it.
In some ways I'm not sure, quite what to think about it because to me Defender's.
The lovely thing is that you enjoy going slowly.
And this is not slow.
Having said that, don't be confused this It's not become a sports car [LAUGH].
It seems really pretty ludicrous giving a car like this a chassis like this that sort of engine engine.
It's very much like imagining a Spitfire with a Tornado's jet engine on it or something like that.
Defenders are frankly terrifying things.
to try and drive quickly to start with because you've got so much in steering lock and the tires.
Even though this is on 18 inch wheels, the first time that a defender has come fitted as standard with 18 inch wheels.
There's just a lot going on with the tread locks.
I've actually rallied a Defender in the past.
You need to be positive with them.
You need to get actually through that first initial roll and onto the springs so that you can lean on them and get some sort of idea about what the chassey's doing.
But, this is not really a car to try and hustle, particularly a short wheel base, 90.
So one in ten might be a little bit better, I suspect, and in fact I think that's the one I'm going for.
I'm so used to driving Defenders as manuals, this is very odd having an auto in here, but it dates me.
It actually works very well and it's quite nice just using the lever to change up and down the box if you put it across in sport.
Obviously all the ergonomics in here are just what you'd expect because this is still a Defender.
It's a reconditioned, recently built Defender.
So you got the upright screen.
You got this right here, [UNKNOWN] the skin of your knuckles.
And it still feels like a precarious treehouse blowing around in a storm when you first try and corner it.
But there's [UNKNOWN] leather in here.
They worked really hard to make it more of a habitable place.
And I have to say, I think really you just want to enjoy the fact that you've got a lot of torque and a lot of power so that on the motorway, along the journey, you might actually be a bit more com Possible.
And I think that's why it hasn't been made as loud as it possibly could be, this is something you actually probably could do quite a few miles in.
And then apparently when they were developing these, they took a couple poor schlaps all the way down to Morocco.
Hitched up with chose vine,
That is not something you try and do in a Defender lightly.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of this Defender then is, curiously, its improved refinement
But in case your wondering, the claimed performance figures of a 90's station wagon like this are 106 miles an hour flat out, and not just 60 miles an hour in 5.6 seconds.
And if that sounds a bit tame, then the reality is anything but.
400 brake horsepower
Turn left nine.
That's 60 miles an hour, 5.6 seconds.
That's soo silly.
[LAUGH] At the end of the day, the Defender works V8 is a bit silly, but also, quite fun.
To be witness to it during a standing start is akin to being an innocent young child seeing a parent drunk on tequila and dancing wildly to Daft Punk in the kitchen.
It's sheer bemusement that something that old could behave in that way.
The only trouble is that this bit of limited-edition fun costs 150,000 pounds.
That's over 40,000 pounds more than a Range Rover Autobiography with a supercharged V8.
It's even more expensive than an AMGG Wagon.
This then, will not be a rational purchase.
But then, it's not a very rational vehicle.