The iconic Land Rover Defender to make a limited but powerful comeback

When the Land Rover Defender went out of production in 2016, you could have floated a boat on the tears of car enthusiasts. While said enthusiasts wait for a promised all-new Defender, Land Rover is temporarily reviving the original.

The Land Rover Defender Works V8 is a limited-edition model built to celebrate Land Rover’s 70th anniversary. It’s an appropriate gesture, given that the Defender’s lineage leads straight back to the original 1948 Land Rover Series 1. But the Defender Works V8 is a far cry from that vehicle — or any previous Defender.

As the name suggests, this limited-edition Defender has a V8 engine. Specifically, it’s a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 405 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. That’s a big increase from the 122 hp and 265 lb-ft of the last production-spec Defender, Land Rover notes. The Defender Works V8 can do 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 106 mph. It’s the fastest and most powerful Defender to ever leave the Land Rover factory.

Land Rover has offered V8 engines in the Defender before. The last one was a 190-hp 4.0-liter V8 from the second-generation Range Rover, which was stuffed into a limited number of 50th Anniversary-edition Defenders in 1998. But the majority of Defenders that rolled out of the Land Rover factory had smaller and less-powerful diesel engines. Aftermarket companies like East Coast Defenders have sought to fill the power gap with their own V8 conversions, something that didn’t escape Land Rover’s notice.

“We knew the demand was there for a powerful and fast Defender; the Land Rover authenticity is the ultimate finishing touch for discerning clients purchasing these collector’s-sdition Defenders,” said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works, which will build the vehicles.

Besides the V8, the conversion also includes a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, upgraded brakes, and a “handling kit” (new springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars). Visual changes include 18-inch “Sawtooth” alloy wheels, LED headlights, and model-specific exterior color schemes. The interior is trimmed in Windsor leather, and features Recaro sport seats and a Land Rover Classic-specific infotainment system.

Like the standard Defender, the Works V8 will be offered in short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 configurations. Pricing starts at a steep 150,000 pounds ($206,800) for the 90. Only 150 will be built, and none will be imported to the United States. But if you want a V8 Defender, there’s always the aftermarket.

Land Rover is still planning a replacement for the Defender, although it’s unclear when this new model will arrive. For now, all Land Rover will say is that the new Defender is “subject to further announcements.”


More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Mercedes-Benz gives the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost upgrade pulls serious performance from just four cylinders

The 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost gets a new "High Performance Package" that boosts output from the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to 330 horsepower, and adds suspension and brake upgrades.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!