The Land Rover Defender, the original model in particular, could not be more synonymous with its off-road ability and utilitarian workhorse appeal. The new model has somewhat taken that same ideal, however this time round added a large amount of technology, a radical upturn in luxury and upped the refinement no end. The new model was designed to use this abundance of technology and Land Rover’s engineering knowhow to ensure that the new model was just as capable on any terrain imaginable, however this time, it is also more than capable of performing on the road.

Many would say that the difference in on road performance between the new model and the original Defender is as big an improvement as there could possibly be. No longer is the on-road performance the apparent afterthought and in fact the handling is something that impresses more than a lot of other premium SUV’s on the market. With this new found on-road assurance and the fact that the new Defender aims at being all the car you’d ever need, it was only a matter of time before Land Rover were going to give it the engine that would fulfill that brief for die hard petrol heads.

Originally the Defender V8 wasn’t part of the new Defender plan. But after building a few test mules early in development, the opportunity was just too good to miss and the 5.0 litre supercharged Defender V8 P525 was created. Available in both the 90 and 110 forms the new engine produces 518bhp and 416 lb ft of torque meaning the 0-62mph time is just 4.9 seconds for the former and 5.1 seconds for the latter – in a Defender!

But as with the thinking behind the new Defender, it’s not just strapping a big engine into the existing car and leaving at that, Land Rover want this car to really perform on the road too. With a toughened up chassis, larger diameter anti-roll bars, stiffer suspension bushes and bespoke spring and damper rates, a new electronic active rear differential and an additional ‘Dynamic’ mode to the terrain response system, the V8 Defender can certainly handle just as well as it goes. There is even paddle shifters on the steering wheel to let you change manually on the 8-speed automatic gearbox.

So does all of this on-road modification mean that Land Rover have sold their soul and created a Defender that only performs on the road? Of course not. The V8 Defender might not be as agile or performance driven as a Lamborghini Urus or Porsche Cayenne Turbo but it was never trying to be. Think more in terms of a Mercedes Benz G63 AMG and it’s much closer to the mark, this car needs to remain true to its roots and the Defender V8 still excels when the going gets tough. It might have an abundance of on-road technology and upgrades but you still find Terrain Response, Water wading aids, Adaptive dynamics, locking differentials, adjustable ride height and much more to ensure it can do what any other Defender can do, and more so.

The Defender V8 might be a world away from the original ethos of the workhorse Defender many adore, but in so many ways it shows the appeal of Land Rover’s longest model can stretch to even more customers than ever before. The new Defender hasn’t lost any of the brand’s inherent ‘coolness’ and its ability to look equally at home outside a Michelin star restaurant as it does covered in mud pulling a horsebox across a field. The V8 model only widens that ability and pushes the boundaries even further than ever before.

Our 2021 (71) Land Rover Defender 110 V8 is finished in Santorini Black metallic and adds an air of exclusivity as it features a full URBAN Automotive conversion to the exterior with URBAN Design pack, 22” URBAN WX-2 Satin Black wheels, Blue brake calipers and URBAN Miltek exhaust system. Inside the car comes with an Ebony Windsor leather and Dinamica Suedecloth interior and an extensive range of features to include Sliding panoramic sunroof, Meridian sound system, Head up display, Matrix LED headlights, Privacy glass, 14-way electric climate seats, Driver Assist pack, an electric deployable to bar and much more. This exceptional one owner vehicle has covered just 1,450 miles and comes complete with the remainder of a land Rover manufacturer warranty until October 2024.