Defender Works V8 Trophy: accept no substitute

Published: 10 February 2021

► Limited-edition Defender Works V8 Trophy
► Adventure-ready, priced from £195,000
► Deal includes entry in three-day off-road challenge

Land Rover’s Classic division is building 25 high-spec last-generation Defenders kitted out to take on the world, and styled to evoke the Camel Trophy Defenders of legend.

The Defender Works V8 Trophy is available with the 90 or 110 chassis, with the Station Wagon body. Power comes from a naturally aspirated petrol V8, making 444bhp @ 6000rpm and 380lb ft @ 5000rpm, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer box.

They’re all going to be painted in a unique combination of Eastnor Yellow paint with black detaling and body-coloured steel wheels. Inside, there are Recaro sports seats, black leather trim with yellow stitching, and an Elliott Brown clock.

Rugged expedition equipment includes a roof rack, snorkel air intake, underbody protection, spotlights and all-terrain tyres. UK prices start at £195,000 for the shorter-wheelbase version.

Covid permitting, all buyers will be able to take part in a three-day off-road challenge later this year at Eastnor Castle, Land Rover’s testing and development base in Herefordshire. One-to-one pre-event tuition will be thrown in to make sure the drivers can get stuck in to the challenges, rather than just getting stuck at the first obstacle.

It’s five years since Land Rover stopped making the original Defender, which was eventually replaced in 2019 by the similar-looking but technologically far more advanced current model.

In those five years, values of Defenders – and their Series predecessors, which date back to 1948 – have soared, as have the numbers of thefts.

There has also been a major surge in restomods – not just by the in-house Land Rover Classic, but also by outside experts including Twisted and ECD, both of whom have developed electric versions.

And later this year we should see the production version of an all-new vehicle inspired by the old Defender, the Grenadier from Ineos Automotive.

By Colin Overland

CAR's managing editor: wordsmith, critic, purveyor of fine captions