Land Rover Defender V8 and XS Edition joins the range

Defender V8 joins the range of efficient Ingenium petrol and diesel powertrains.

Land Rover has launched the powerful Defender V8 as part of a range of enhancements to its unstoppable and award-winning 4×4 family.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 110 and 90

The new 386kW Defender V8 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.

Defender Highlights

  • Defender V8 90 and 110: New 386kW supercharged engine powers fastest and most powerful production Defender ever made; 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, 240km/h top speed (Defender 90)
  • Power meets durability: Bespoke chassis settings and transmission tuning combine to make Defender V8 the most capable and dynamic example of Land Rover’s award-winning 4×4 
  • New special edition model: New Defender XS Edition replaces the successful First Edition and features tough exterior design enhancements and comprehensive specification
  • Height of personalisation: New Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack options provide even greater scope for customer personalisation across the Defender line-up
  • Larger screen: New optional 11.4-inch touchscreen* – over 60% larger than existing 10-inch display – now available for intuitive Pivi Pro infotainment, plus wireless device charging* for enhanced convenience
  • Extended family: Defender range offers incredible breadth of choice with 90, 110 derivatives, petrol and diesel engines
  • Choose your model: Defender 90 P300 from $74,640 (+ ORCs), 110 P300 from $76,960 (+ORCs)

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 Driving 2

The powerful new models build on decades of Land Rover V8 heritage – spanning the original Stage I V8 of the Seventies, North American Specification models of the Nineties and powerful Defender Works V8 – as the characterful engine joins the latest range of efficient Ingenium petrol and diesel powertrains. 

The V8 petrol engine isn’t the only introduction. There’s also a new XS Edition, fresh exterior design packs that provide greater personalisation potential and an optional larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen.

Defender V8 builds on the rugged 4×4’s class-leading capability, delivering new levels of performance and driver engagement by combining a powerful 386kW 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine with expertly developed suspension and transmission tuning to create the fastest and most dynamically rewarding Defender yet. 

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 dash

A new XS Edition replaces the hugely successful First Edition and combines bespoke design and specification enhancements inside and out.

Defender’s personalisation potential has also been expanded with the introduction of new exterior packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack feature bespoke exterior trim to enhance Defender’s unmistakable silhouette.

Heightened connectivity is also part of the updates. Defender’s state-of-the-art 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 is now fitted as standard with the Comfort and Convenience Pack for improved convenience and call quality.

David Hemming, Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The introduction of our V8 powertrain adds a new dimension of driving engagement and off-road capability to Defender. Fast and fun to drive, it represents the pinnacle of the Defender family and is as rewarding on the road as it is capable off it. We’ve also broadened the appeal of the entire Defender line-up with new derivatives, option packs and enhanced connectivity, so there really is a Defender for everyone.”

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 engine

New Defender V8 

New Defender V8 is the ultimate expression of Land Rover’s toughest 4×4 and recalls the rich heritage of eight-cylinder Land Rovers dating back to the 1970s. The potent new V8 supercharged engine is available in both 90 and 110 body designs and delivers elevated performance and driver engagement without compromising Defender’s unstoppable capability.

With unique suspension and transmission tuning, including bespoke spring and damper rates and a new Electronic Active Rear Differential, it delivers more agile and engaging handling with heightened body control – all accompanied by a characteristic V8 soundtrack.

Power comes from Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, which produces 386kW, 625Nm of torque and drives through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Defender V8 90 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 240km/h. 

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.

Iain Gray, Senior Manager, Powertrain Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance – providing new levels of driver appeal. Our engineering focus has been to optimise powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road – all without compromising Defender’s unstoppable all-terrain capability and wading ability.”

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 engine 2

Larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars help reduce body roll in extreme cornering, while the unique Electronic Active Rear Differential introduces a Yaw Controller that allows fine control of the Defender V8’s cornering attitude as it reaches and exceeds the limit of grip. 

Careful calibration of the new Dynamic program in Terrain Response 2, gives Defender V8 a more agile, playful and responsive character. In this setting, a sharper throttle response and bespoke tuning for the Continuously Variable Damping combine with the stiffer suspension bushes for immediate steering responses. Working in harmony with the Torque Vectoring by Braking technology, Traction Control Systems and new Yaw Controller, the Defender V8 is faster, more engaging and more controllable than ever. 

Instantly recognisable, the Defender V8 features a number of unique exterior enhancements; bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish combine to set the most powerful model in the line-up apart. The Defender V8 is further identified by its Xenon Blue front brake calipers and 20-inch brake discs.

Careful acoustic tuning of Defender V8’s induction and exhaust systems provides a purposeful and authentic sound. Calibrated to suit every driving situation, this evocative soundtrack can be enhanced by selecting Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response system.

Customers have a choice of three colours – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black – all with a contrast roof in Narvik Black. Shadow Atlas exterior detailing completes New Defender V8’s distinctive exterior finish.

Inside, Defender V8 features seats trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a unique Ebony tag, while the Defender’s exposed Cross Car Beam has a special Satin Black finish. The four-spoke steering wheel is enhanced by an Alcantara rim and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles, which are unique to V8 models. Leather covers the airbag housing and gear lever, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 water crossing

Defender XS Edition

The new XS Edition replaces the hugely successful First Edition. Positioned above the SE models, it 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.

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.

Comprehensive standard specification includes Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Terrain Response. In addition, the XS Edition benefits from Matrix LED headlights with signature DRL, ClearSight Rear View mirror technology and the state-of-the-art Pivi Pro infotainment system with 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

The XS Edition is available exclusively with the powerful P400 petrol powertrain.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 Driving

Pivi Pro upgrade

Connectivity is enhanced by the latest evolution of Pivi Pro infotainment, available with an optional larger 11.4-inch touchscreen* for the first time. The new curved glass interface is 60 per cent larger than the standard screen, making it even easier to follow navigation route guidance. The fast and intuitive Pivi Pro system provides immediate responses, even when starting the vehicle for the first time. 

A simple menu structure allows the most commonly used functions to be accessed directly from the home screen to reduce driver distraction. The system can be easily customised to suit the preferences of individual customers. Additional app ‘panels’ can be added, moved and removed, while swiping left or right of the screen quickly reveals the most relevant information at a glance, ensuring the driver’s concentration stays on the road.    

The advanced navigation uses self-learning algorithms and dynamic guidance to optimise routing, while Smart Voice Guidance knows to cancel audio instructions in familiar surroundings. Navigation mapping is always up-to-date thanks to Defender’s Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology. 

Intelligent learning allows the navigation system to identify routes customers use regularly, even without inputting a destination, and use this information to inform drivers of the fastest route to their likely destination based on current traffic conditions. If a faster route becomes available, Pivi Pro will propose this as an alternative.

Greater personalisation with new Exterior Packs

Customers can now choose from three new exterior design packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack further extend the personalisation potential of New Defender. 

Available on all Defender models, the Bright Pack features a Noble Chrome finish for the front and rear skid plates, plus a Noble Chrome Grille bar and badging. The Extended Bright Pack, adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches.

Defender X, Defender X-Dynamic and Defender V8 customers can select the new Extended Black Pack. It provides a Gloss Black finish for the front and rear skid plates, grille bar, bonnet chequer finisher, badging, lower body cladding and wheel arches for a stealthy and purposeful appearance.

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 1

22MY Australian Defender RRPs (+ORCs):

  • 90 P300: $74,640
  • 90 D200: $81,290
  • 90 P300 S: $83,470
  • 90 D250 S: $90,450
  • 90 P400 SE: $100,450
  • 90 P400 XS Edition: $110,640
  • 90 P400 X: $141,480
  • 90 P525 V8: $200,540
  • 110 P300: $76,960
  • 110 D250: $82,590
  • 110 D250 S: $91,220
  • 110 P400 S: $92,360
  • 110 D300 SE: $ 96,780
  • 110 P400 SE: $103,800
  • 110 P400 XS Edition: $113,580
  • 110 D300 X-Dynamic HSE: $113,980      
  • 110 P400 X-Dynamic HSE: $120,480
  • 110 D300 X: $143,190
  • 110 P400 X: $145,290 
  • 110 P525 V8: $205,500   

*Optional feature

**All fuel consumption and CO2 data quoted above relates to Official EU-WLTP TEL Combined Test Figures for five-seat derivatives. The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer’s tests in accordance with EU legislation. For comparison purposes only. Real world figures may differ. CO2 and fuel economy figures may vary according to factors such as driving styles, environmental conditions, load and accessories. 

† Self-learning car and navigation features will continue to be enhanced via Software-Over-The-Air updates

About Rob Fraser 987 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.

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