Other than the name, it shares nothing with the legendary model. Land Rover dropped the body-on-frame construction in favor of a modern, aluminum unibody, and the whole vehicle looks and feels much more upscale.
For the new model year, the Defender will be receiving its first major upgrade. Both the three-door 90 and the five-door 110 versions will be available with a highly capable supercharged V8.
Matted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the engine produces 518 hp (525 PS) and 461 lb-ft (625 Nm) of torque, making it the most powerful Defender ever produced, according to the manufacturer.
The models fitted with this powerplant feature a unique suspension configuration featuring customized spring and damper rates, stiffer bushings, and a new Electronic Active Rear Differential.
The Defender V8 also builds on the nameplate's excellent off-road capability with the introduction of a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response system.
Engineers have focused on carefully calibrating this program to make the SUV more agile and responsive. When enabled, it dynamically controls the air suspension, torque vectoring, and traction control systems to provide an on-road driving experience that will give drivers the impression they’re driving a sports-tuned Jaguar sports car rather than an SUV, according the automaker.
For the exterior, every Defender V8 comes with some unique enhancements that distinguish them from standard models. The most noticeable are the quad exhaust tailpipes, the 22-inch alloy wheels, and the Xenon Blue brake calipers.
As for personalization, customers can choose between three exterior colors, Carpathian Grey, Yulong White (both of which include a contrast roof painted in Narvik Black), and Santorini Black.
Inside the cabin, Defender V8s offer seats trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a distinctive Ebony tag. Also unique to these models are the Alcantara four-spoke steering wheel and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles.
It comes with all the goodies from the standard Defender V8, distinguishing itself thanks to the Carpathian Grey premium metallic paint contrasted by Narvik Black roof, hood, and tailgate. Other unique additions include Satin Black tow eyes, Carpathian Gloss front and rear skid pans, and a front grille bar.
The Defender is a remarkable SUV, and the addition of the supercharged V8 makes it even more desirable. However, pricing starts at around $90,000 for the standard 90 three-door model powered by the eight-cylinder engine, which makes it obscenely expensive for what it has to offer.