Land Rover have replaced the Puma Defender with the L663, but there’s still a lot of love for the old model…just look at the interest in the INEOS Grenadier which many see as the rightful successor to the original Defender.
But Land Rover themselves still think there’s life in the older design, and are building 25 special versions, named Defender Works V8 Trophy.
These vehicles are based on secondhand Defenders acquired by, then remanufactured by Land Rover. There’s a 298kW / 515Nm V8 petrol, 8-speed ZF automatic, upgraded brakes, torque-biasing centre diff (not a plain open/locked like standard) and a “handling kit” – guess that means swaybars then! You also get a winch, roofrack, underbody protection, raised air intake (not snorkel), and driving lights. Wheels are 16″ steelies still sized at 235/85/16 with mud tyres, suspension is still coil/live axle front and rear but there’s a leather interior. Both 90 and 110 versions are available, and there’s only 25 models. And yes, that livery pays homage to the heritage, so very important to work those words in.
The prices works out to be, umm, $350,000 Australian dollars, or thereabouts. But you get more than just a secondhand Defender with quick bits. You also get the Land Rover Trophy, and I’ll let Land Rover explain:
“Experiences are a key part of Land Rover Classic’s DNA and this whole concept comes directly from feedback we’ve received. Our customers want to create their own stories, battle scars and patina with their Works V8 Trophy vehicles from day one, fuelling campfire chats with like-minded enthusiasts.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting and memorable event, full of camaraderie, and continuing the Land Rover Trophy legend for years to come. Seeing the silhouette of these vehicles which you’ll instantly know as a Land Rover, traversing the hills at Eastnor, will be a defining moment of the adventure.”
So there’s some sort of competition organised for owners.
Now if I had the sort of cash Bill Gates can command, I’d buy one. But, I know if I bought a secondhand Defender and handed over, say, $75k to one of a number of Aussie aftermarket shops I think I’d have something just as awesome with just as much potential for “battle-scars” and “patina”, so for me, the value-for-money isn’t quite there. What about you?
Defender Works V8 Trophy is available in the United Kingdom, Europe, MENA, Africa and Oceania on an individual import basis, subject to rules on importation of vehicle conversions.