Coventry, UK - The last Land Rover Defender rolled off the production line in January 2016, in preparation for its replacement which is due in 2019.

But this hasn’t quite closed the chapter on the iconic boxy 4x4 that has tamed millions of offroad trails over seven decades. Land Rover’s Classic division is briefly reviving its legendary 4x4 with a limited-edition high-performance version called the Defender Works V8. Up to 150 examples of the vehicle will be re-engineered to celebrate Land Rover’s 70th anniversary in 2018.

The Defender Works V8 pays homage to the early high-powered engines in both the Series III Stage 1 V8 from 1979 and subsequent Defenders including the 50th Anniversary Edition, which are today highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.

The Works V8 is the most powerful and fastest Defender that Land Rover has ever created. The 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V8 powertrain produces 298kW and 515Nm of torque for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 170km/h.

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said: “It’s fitting that we’ve been able to release the full potential of the iconic Defender, whose much-loved shape remains synonymous with Land Rover, 70 years since it was seen in public for the first time.

“The idea of reintroducing a V8 Defender was something we were discussing as far back as 2014, when we were still building the Defender in Solihull. We knew the demand was there for a powerful and fast Defender; the Land Rover authenticity is the ultimate finishing touch for discerning clients purchasing these collector’s edition Defenders.”

The V8 powertrain will be fitted to 150 specially-selected and re-engineered Defenders for the 70th Edition, complemented by an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars), plus exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres.

Eight standard body colours include two satin finishes – contrasting with a Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille – finished with machined aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering. A comprehensive lighting upgrade includes bi-LED headlamps.

Full Windsor Leather interior trim covers the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats. Land Rover Classic’s own Classic Infotainment System is also fitted.

A select number of high-performance upgrades inspired by Defender Works V8 will also be available to purchase soon from Land Rover Classic, including power upgrades for the TDCi diesel engine, fast-road suspension and braking kits.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic division brings history back to life by meticulously rebuilding limited edition classic Land Rovers  at its 14 000 square metre state-of-the-art facility in Coventry, UK.

The Defender Works V8 is available in the United Kingdom, and Middle East and North Africa markets on a personal import basis. Buyers will require deep pockets though. Both 90 and 110 wheelbase Defender Works V8 derivatives will be available to purchase direct from Land Rover Classic, with prices starting from £150 000 (R2.53 million) for a 90 in the UK.

Interested? Find out more HERE.

Drive360