By Amanda Mfuphi
Land Rover has unveiled the powerful 386 kW Defender V8 and a special edition to join the Defender family range. The new Defender V8 will be joined by the flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition which provides a unique combination of performance and capability, with bespoke chassis settings delivering new levels of driver engagement and agility both on and off-road. In addition to the introduction of the V8 engine, there is also a new XS Edition, fresh exterior design packages and an optional larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen in the new Defender V8 range.
The exclusive new Carpathian Edition is based on the Defender V8 and the new XS Edition replaces the First Edition and combines bespoke design and specification enhancements inside and out. The potent new V8 supercharged engine is available in both 90 and 110 body designs.
The Defender V8 features a number of unique exterior enhancements that sets it apart from the range such as bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish. The Defender V8 is further identified by its Xenon Blue brake calipers and 20-inch brake discs.
Customers will have a choice of three colours – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black – Carpathian Grey and Yulong White with a contrast roof in Narvik Black. Shadow Atlas exterior detailing completes New Defender V8’s distinctive exterior finish.
Vehicle personalisation has been expanded in the new Defender V8 introduction of new exterior packages in the form of the Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack which feature bespoke exterior trim to enhance Defender’s unmistakable silhouette. The Extended Bright Pack adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches.
Inside, the Defender V8 features seats trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suede cloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a unique Ebony tag. The steering wheel has an Alcantara rim and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles, which are unique to the V8 models. The airbag housing and gear lever are both covered by leather, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script.
Connectivity and the infotainment system has also been updated in the new Defender V8 models. The Defender’s Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment is now available with a range of desirable new features, including the option of a larger 11.4-inch touchscreen display. Wireless device charging with integrated signal booster is now fitted as standard with the Comfort and Convenience Pack for improved convenience and call quality.
Engine and Suspension
The new Defender V8 is powered by Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, which produces 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque. The V8 engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Defender V8 90 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 240km/h. The new Defender V8’s revised suspension and transmission tuning, including bespoke spring and damper rates and a new Electronic Active Rear Differential, this is said to deliver a more agile and engaging handling with heightened body control – all accompanied by a characteristic V8 soundtrack.
Exceptional off-road capability is a Defender hallmark and the V8 adds a new layer of driver appeal, with the introduction of a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response system – only available on V8-powered Defenders. It helps drivers to exploit the more dynamic character and handling balance of the 386kW model on tarmac and loose surfaces. Engineered to be the fastest and most engaging production Defender ever, it delivers unrivalled agility and driver appeal.
Defender V8 Carpathian Edition
The new flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition is finished exclusively in Carpathian Grey and distinguished by a Narvik Black contrast roof, bonnet and tail-door. Additional visual highlights include bespoke V8 Carpathian Edition badging finishes, Satin Black towing eyes and distinctive Xenon Blue brake calipers. The unique exterior is finished with Land Rover’s Satin Protective Film. The recyclable PU-based wrap is applied to external bodywork giving the 4×4 a contemporary semi-matte finish that also protects against everything from car park scratches to off-road bramble rash.
Inside, the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition features the same upgrades as the Defender V8, with seats finished in Miko Suede cloth and Robustec accents, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and illuminated treadplates.
Defender XS Edition
The new XS Edition replaces the First Edition and it is positioned above the SE models. The XS Edition features a unique exterior and interior treatment and is available in both 90 and 110 body designs.
Externally, the XS Edition is identified by its bespoke body-coloured lower cladding and lower wheel arches, and distinctive 20-inch, contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels finished in Satin Grey. A choice of four exterior colour options is available: Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black. The XS Edition benefits from Matrix LED headlights with signature DRL, Clear Sight Rear View mirror technology.
Inside, the XS Edition’s 12-way, heated and electric memory seats are finished in Grained Leather, while the Cross Car Beam has a Light Grey powder coat brushed finish. Illuminated metal treadplates complete the interior.
The XS Edition is available with a choice of the 2.0-litre D240 diesel and 3.0-litre P400 petrol.
Availability and Pricing
The Defender V8 and XS Edition are expected toward the end of 2021 in South Africa. Pricing for the New Defender V8 and XS models will be confirmed closer to time of launch in South Africa.
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