Source: Land Rover

Oliver Gray

Oliver Gray

The Unnecessary Brilliance of the 2022 Special Edition Land Rover V8 Defender

There are some things in the world that no one needs, and a 2022 Special Edition Land Rover V8 Defender might be one of them.

No one really needs a vehicle built like a shiny Soviet-era tank with all the high-tech, first-world comforts of a Las Vegas penthouse. And you certainly wouldn’t need that vehicle to be one of the fastest SUVs available on the market.

Still, the creatively unhinged brainiacs over at Jaguar Land Rover beg to differ. What they’ve managed to develop is a Frankenstein’s monster of modern engineering — taking all the best parts from their long history of Greatest Hits, upgrading some of them, adding others, then releasing the lot in a tidy package of automotive excess.

A screaming five-litre supercharged V8 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission delivers 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, putting it roughly on par with the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. If you want to go from a dead standstill to 96 kilometres per hour in just 4.9 seconds, the V8 Defender is your guy. And he’ll continue his outright defiance of aerodynamic laws all the way to a top speed of around 240 kilometres per hour.

The system tasked with harnessing such outrageous power is just as impressive. Featuring a new electronic active rear differential to ensure nothing goes to waste, the suspension and transmission have been meticulously tuned. The V8 Defender also has a yaw controller that averts the risk of body-roll in the event of a speedy corner, along with a new Dynamic program within its Terrain Response system that turns simple off-road fun into an existentially life-affirming experience.

Nestled between suede-accented leather seats is an upgraded Pivi Pro infotainment system, with the option for an 11.4-inch touchscreen — 60 per cent larger than the V8 Defender’s predecessor. Not only that, but wireless charging, an integrated signal booster and WiFi signal are all standard, because what the hell.

What’s more, it’s all wrapped up in a sleek, unassuming body — available in either Santorini Black, Carpathian Grey or Yulong White — complete with 22-inch alloy wheels, special badging, quad exhaust tips and Xenon Blue brake calipers. The V8 Defender, by any imaginable standard, is just as comfortable chasing down camels in the desert as it is prowling the streets of any major financial district.

No one needs any of these things. But then again, no one particularly needs 80-foot yachts, wall-sized televisions or military-grade drones — want, however, is a different story. And the V8 Defender can be yours, should that desire exist, for the relatively nominal sum of A$200,540 — give or take a few thousand dollars depending on whether you opt for the exclusive Carpathian Edition, or any of the other 170 available accessories.

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