Land Rover brings back the old Defender with Works V8 Trophy limited series

The original Land Rover Defender is making a return as the famous 4x4 maker announces plans for a limited series of special “adventure-ready” Works V8 Trophy vehicles.

The exclusive run of Land Rover Defender Works V8 Trophy cars will be limited to just 25 examples developed by in-house specialists Land Rover Classic.

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The re-engineered models are based on cars from the 2012-16 Defender Works V8 production run but with significant enhancements. Owners will also be entered into an exclusive off-road challenge inspired by events like the famous Camel Trophy expeditions.

A mixture of 90 and 110 wheelbase cars are being built, all finished in an exclusive Eastnor Yellow with contrasting Narvik Black paint on the wheel arches, bonnet and rear door. The 16-inch steel wheels are also finished in the unique shade of yellow.

The new models feature the Heritage grille from run-out editions of the Defender along with LED headlights and unique, personalised badging and event graphics. More significantly, all 25 cars will feature a host of heavy-duty off-road equipment.

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A front winch, multi-point expedition cage, roof rack, underbody protection, A-bar, raised air intake, LED spotlights and mud-terrain tyres are all standard fit, as are uprated brakes and an upgraded handling kit.

Inside, however, the Defender Works V8 Trophy leans towards the luxurious, with Recaro sports seats finished in black Windsor leather and a bespoke Land Rover Trophy clock by Elliot Brown. The cars will also benefit from a modern infotainment system featuring sat nav and phone mirroring.

As the name suggests, the whole lot is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 producing 400bhp and 380lb ft, driving all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Buyers with the requisite £195,000 - no, that’s not a typo - to buy one of the V8 Trophy cars will also be invited to an exclusive event at Land Rover’s Eastnor Castle proving ground later this year.

The three-day event will see owners receive expert one-to-one tuition before taking on a series of off-roading challenges inspired by events such as the Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge which helped prove various Land Rovers' abilities in the most hostile environments.

Dan Pink, director of Land Rover Classic, said: “The Land Rover Defender has always been more than just a vehicle, its engineering capability and suitability for overland expedition and all-terrain competition means it’s renowned with getting away from it all. The new Land Rover Trophy will bring this to life for a new generation of adventurers.

“Experiences are a key part of Land Rover Classic’s DNA and this whole concept comes directly from feedback we’ve received. Our customers want to create their own stories, battle scars and patina with their Works V8 Trophy vehicles from day one, fuelling campfire chats with like-minded enthusiasts.”