New Land Rover Defender V8 joins range

Land Rover Defender V8 does 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and has a starting price of nearly £100,000

  • Defender 90 V8 costs £98,505
  • 19.5mpg claimed
  • New special editions launched

The hotly anticipated Land Rover Defender V8 has now joined the lineup, alongside two new special-edition versions. The new 518bhp V8 engine is the most powerful ever fitted to a production Defender, and joins an engine range that also includes a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8

Like the fastest Range Rover and Jaguar F-Pace models, the V8 Defender gets a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol engine. It produces 518bhp and enables a 5.2-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 149mph, despite the Defender’s lack of aerodynamics. As a result, the new model is the fastest production Defender ever built, although it won’t win any prizes for fuel efficiency; don’t expect to see as much as 20mpg, while CO2 emissions of 327g/km are hefty.

To cope with the extra power, Land Rover has fitted a new electronic active differential, and upgraded the suspension and gearbox. Body control should be improved over a standard Defender as a result. The Terrain Response driving modes system also gets a new Dynamic mode that’s designed to work on road and loose surfaces.

While the sound of the engine is likely to give it away, V8 models also get unique badging, four exhaust pipes, blue front brake calipers and new 22-inch wheels painted dark grey. You can choose black, white or grey paint, with a contrasting black roof available for the latter two.

Inside, you get exclusive seat upholstery, partly trimmed in leather and partly in Alcantara suede. The steering wheel is also trimmed in Alcantara and behind the wheel are two new chrome gearshift paddles. The interior cross beam is painted black and there are new illuminated treadplates.

Choosing a V8-engined three-door model costs £98,505, while the five-door ‘110’ version starts at £101,150.

Defender V8 Carpathian Edition

At the same time, Land Rover has launched a new V8 Carpathian Edition to sit right at the top of the Defender lineup. The Carpathian Grey paint is contrasted with black paint on the roof, bonnet and tailgate, and Land Rover has applied satin protection film to stop scratches from hedgerows and car parks.

XS Edition

The new XS Edition trim level replaces the First Edition model, and gets lower trim pieces painted in body colour, plus two-tone 20-inch alloys and the choice of four paint colours. Sitting above SE trim, the XS offers air suspension, Matrix LED headlights, a digital rear-view mirror and the Pivi Pro infotainment system.

The Pivi Pro system has been updated for 2021, and you can now pick a larger 11.4-inch touchscreen from the options list.

Check out our guide to the best large SUVs, or read our Defender old vs new comparison.

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