Wait, what? The Land Rover Defender is back! Yes, despite the iconic off-roader having gone out of production in early 2016 (with an all-new model firmly on the horizon), the Whitley-based brand has seen fit to reveal a limited-edition, high-performance “Works” version of the original.

To celebrate the marque’s 70th anniversary, “up to 150” examples of the special re-engineered V8-powered models will be built. Unfortunately, it seems you’ll struggle to get your hands on one in South Africa, as Land Rover says the Defender Works V8 will be available in the United Kingdom, as well the Middle East and North Africa markets, “on a personal import basis”.

The brand bills the Defender Works V8 as the “most powerful and fastest” version that it has ever conceived. The 5,0-litre naturally aspirated petrol V8 under the bonnet produces 298 kW and 515 N.m, which should see the 0-100 km/h sprint completed in 5,6 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 170 km/h.

Each re-engineered model (in either 90 or 110 wheelbase guise) will also gain an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF (complete with sport mode), along with uprated brakes and a handling kit (comprising special springs, dampers and anti-roll bars). Unique 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloys wrapped in 265/65 R18 all-terrain rubber are also included, along with bi-LED headlamps.

There will be a choice of eight body colours, including two satin finishes, with the door handles, fuel filler cap and “Defender” bonnet lettering machined from aluminium.

Inside, Land Rover will add “Full Windsor” leather on the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats. Land Rover Classic’s own classic infotainment system will be fitted as standard.

Prices in the UK will start from £150 000 (that’s a little over R2,5-million)…

Land Rover Defender Works V8