Urban Truck Ultimate RS (2015): the 500bhp Land Rover Defender

Published: 09 January 2015

Land Rover earlier this week showed off a trio of limited-edition Defender run-out models to mark the beginning of the end for production of the iconic off-roader.

In the meantime, Defender customisation specialist Urban Truck has announced a new special edition of its own. Meet the shy and retiring Urban Truck Ultimate RS, with power (and pricing) to top even Land Rover’s topmost swansong Autobiography edition.

What’s the Ultimate RS all about, then?

Urban Truck describes it as having ‘the most blistering performance, braking and handling a Defender has ever seen.’

That’ll be largely thanks to the 6.2-litre GM-sourced LS3 V8 engine under the bodywork, the same unit found in various hairy-chested performance cars including the ’08-on Chevrolet Corvette C6. In the Ultimate RS it’ll generate the best part of 500bhp and 400lb ft and run through a six-speed automatic transmission.

It shouldn’t be too frightened by corners as the Defender’s ride height has been lowered by two inches, with Bilstein dampers, custom anti-roll bars and a poly bush upgrade. Six-pot calipers at the front help get the heavyweight stopped.

That’s quite some interior…

Indeed. Lashings of patterned leather in various choices of colour and designs, heated sports seats, a slightly horrible Momo steering wheel, black alcantara roof lining… an agricultural vehicle this isn’t.

There’s also sat-nav and a subwoofer upgrade for wobbling bass. It’s that sort of car. Apple’s new CarPlay interface, which links iOS phones’ functions more directly with the central touchscreen, is present too. Ironically that means Urban Truck has brought a car equipped with Apple CarPlay to market quicker than a few OEM carmakers.

The exterior’s a little more subtle, or it is in black at least, with a full LED light upgrade, and a choice of grille and wheel designs. Brimming with presence, there’s some undeniable appeal here.

Okay – how much?

Deep breath – £77,500 plus VAT. Land Rover’s plushest Defender model, the run-out special Autobiography Edition costs £61,845, although that doesn’t come with an LS3 V8.

Click here to read CAR’s test of one of the fastest Land Rover Defenders we’ve driven, the Defender Challenge rally car.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer