If you’re one of those slightly odd Land Rover Defender Classic lovers, like me for example, then you’ll know that the Defenders that competed in the Camel Trophy events back in the day, are some of the most revered and sought after, Defenders of all time.
Not one to miss an opportunity, and seemingly unable to completely get over the fact that they killed off the Classic Defender, the good folk at Land Rover have announced a Defender Works V8 Trophy edition and, being limited to just 25 units, split across 90 and 110 variants, it promises to be rare and very special, and you know what that means don’t you?
Yep, it’s bloody expensive, in fact, starting money is £195,000 for a 90 in the UK, or around $AUD 350,000, and in spite of the big price, they’ll probably be sold before I finish writing this article. Much like the Defender Works V8 that Land Rover knocked out back in 2018, the Trophy version will be based on rebuilt second-hand Classic Defenders. Yes, Land Rover has been buying back some of the Defenders it built, just so they can be resold to 25 very lucky, very cashed-up, buyers. It’s all a little ironic when you think about it.
Like the 2018 Works V8 Defender, each of the Trophy versions will use a 2012-2016 donor car that will be re-engineered to run the supercharged AJ133 Jaguar 5.08-litre V8 that outputs 298kW/515Nm. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission will do the shifting and comprehensively uprated suspension, steering and braking packages, will stop the Defender Works V8 Trophy spearing off into the bush at full noise, as it likely would if it was left stock underneath.
Each Trophy will be finished in the ubiquitous Camel Trophy Eastnor Yellow paint colour with matching 16-inch steel wheels. Contrasting Narvik Black paintwork features on the wheel arches, bonnet and rear door. There’s also LED headlamps, a Heritage front grille, unique Land Rover Trophy badging and event participation graphics personalised to each customer (more on the ‘event’ in a smidge).
Inside, there’s full black Windsor leather upholstery with Recaro sports seats, contrast yellow stitching and a Land Rover Trophy clock face by Elliot Brown. Land Rover Classic’s own Classic Infotainment System with integrated navigation and mobile device connectivity is also fitted.
Serious off-road kit, because the original Camel Trophy contenders were serious off-road vehicles, includes a front winch, multi-point expedition cage, roof rack, underbody protection, A-bar, raised air intake, LED spotlights and mud-terrain tyres.
Defender Works V8 Trophy customers will be invited to compete in an exclusive three-day adventure at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire – the spiritual home of Land Rover all-terrain training, testing and development. This will be the first time customers drive their car and I’m wondering if attendance is optional or not? I suspect not.
On seeing their Defender Works V8 Trophy for the first time, customers and their co-drivers will make their first marks by adding their names and country flags to the vehicle. They will then embark on a range of challenges inspired by famous global adventures and competitions spanning more than seven decades of Land Rover production.
Expert one-to-one tuition will be provided as part of the adventure, giving customers a unique opportunity to develop extreme driving techniques and skills in their own vehicle, before putting their training to the test. Everyone will compete for a range of prizes, including a grand prize for the overall winner – to be announced later in 2021.
Which all sounds like a lot of fun in a ‘jolly good show old boy’, kind of a way.
Both 90 and 110 wheelbase Defender Works V8 Trophy derivatives are now available to order direct from Land Rover Classic in the UK.
And yes, I want.