Land Rover Defender returns from the dead with limited-run 70th edition model

Farmers and mud-pluggers rejoice – Land Rover has relaunched the Defender! The British icon has been recreated as a limited-edition, high-performance special, marking the company's 70th anniversary.

The 'new' Defender has been created by Jaguar Land Rover's Classic arm, the branch of the company responsible for reworking older vehicles. It's lovingly restored and modified late Defender models to create the Works V8.

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But the firm hasn't just tidied up some old Defenders. It's taken the opportunity to step up performance too, fitting a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 pushing out 399bhp. That's fed to 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres, with 0-60mph taking a borderline unbelievable 5.6 seconds in the shorter 90 models. Top speed is capped at 106mph – for safety reasons.

Naturally, the old Defender's underpinnings weren't capable of handling the vast power output, so plenty of fettling has gone on behind the scenes. The Works V8 is equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, while the suspension and steering have also been beefed up.

Of course, the interior hasn't escaped the Works treatment. Leather swaddles every surface, there's a modern infotainment system and dials, and modern equipment also includes bi-LED headlights.

A maximum of 150 Works V8 models will be produced, with a price tag of £150,000. A world away from the original mud-plugger, but a fitting tribute for the company's 70th anniversary.

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