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Land Rover Defender returns with a 400-hp V8 for a limited run

18 January 2018 - Autoblog

Land Rover Defender returns with a 400-hp V8 for a limited run

Land Rover is celebrating its 70th anniversary in excellent fashion.

First it found one of the very first Series I SUV prototypes it ever built and is starting to restore it. Now it's bringing back the old Defender for a limited run of SUVs called the 70th Edition that feature a 400-horsepower 5.0-liter V8!

OK, technically the horsepower rating is 399 if you do the conversion from the listed 405 PS, but what's half a horsepower between friends? And either way, it's still the most powerful Defender Land Rover has built. Besides the big horsepower number, it also makes a respectable 380 pound-feet of torque. Coupled to an eight-speed ZF automatic, the Defender will hustle to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 5.6 seconds. Top speed for the aerodynamically challenged Land Rover is 106 mph.

Land Rover hasn't stopped with just power. It's added upgraded shocks, springs and anti-roll bars to aid handling. The brakes at each corner have also been upgraded with four-piston calipers clamping onto 13.1-inch rotors in the front and 11.8-inch rotors at the back, all of which are slotted.

Visually, the Defender 70th Edition gets special badging, including a 70th Edition plaque at the back and machined aluminum lettering on the hood. The door handles and gas cap are also machined aluminum. Special wheels are fitted with all-terrain tires, and the roof, fender flares, grille and headlight surrounds are all painted black. Inside, most every surface is swathed in leather, including the Recaro seats.

The Defender 70th Edition will be available both in the two-door 90 model and the four-door 110 model, and Land Rover will only build 150 total. The SUV will command a high price, too at £150,000 for the base 90 model, which comes to a little over $207,000 at current exchange rates. Adding options or choosing the larger 110 model will undoubtedly drive the price higher. But if you're into Defenders, this is pretty much the ultimate one from Land Rover. Of course, there are impressive alternatives.

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