Original Land Rover Defender Ready for Exclusive Competition
by Bennett Oghifo
Land Rover Classic is continuing the formidable expedition legacy of the original Defender with a limited production run of adventure-ready Defender Works V8 Trophy vehicles for an exclusive competition at Eastnor Castle in 2021.
Based on the re-engineered 2012-2016 Defender Works V8 specification developed by Land Rover Classic, including 298kW/515Nm 5.0-litre V8 petrol powertrain, eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and comprehensive uprated suspension, steering and braking packages, the Trophy vehicles feature a wide range of additional upgrades specifically tailored for off-road use, according to a statement by the automaker.
Twenty-five examples of the Defender Works V8 Trophy, in a mixture of 90 and 110 Station Wagon body designs, will be exclusively finished in a unique Eastnor Yellow paint colour with matching 16-inch steel wheels. Contrasting Narvik Black paintwork features on the wheel arches, bonnet and rear door. The purpose-built vehicles also receive LED headlamps, a Heritage front grille, unique Land Rover Trophy badging and event participation graphics personalised to each customer.
The Defender Works V8 Trophy is designed to tackle the most demanding endurance challenges. Additional all-terrain kit includes a front winch, multi-point expedition cage, roof rack, underbody protection, A-bar, raised air intake, LED spotlights and mud-terrain tyres.
Inside, the instantly recognisable 4×4 benefits from full black Windsor leather upholstery with Recaro sports seats, contrast yellow stitching and a bespoke 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.
Later this year*, 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.
Dan Pink, Director, Land Rover Classic, said: “The Land Rover Defender has always been more than just a vehicle, its engineering capability and suitability for overland expedition and all-terrain competition means it’s renowned with getting away from it all. The new Land Rover Trophy will bring this to life for a new generation of adventurers.
“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.”
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.
Familiar faces from Land Rover’s adventure heritage feature in the Defender Works V8 Trophy launch film, including racing driver, stunt driver and Land Rover ambassador Jessica Hawkins, alongside Camel Trophy participants such as 1989 event winner Bob Ives. A number of these experts will also be on-hand at the Land Rover Trophy to share their knowledge and experiences.
The Land Rover Trophy event will be supported by the New Defender and carefully selected brand partners Elliot Brown, Fat Face and Musto, who have created complementary products specifically for Defender Works V8 Trophy customers.