2021 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 | PH Video

The 525hp V8 Defender need not exist in 2021. We're pretty glad it does…

By PH Staff / Saturday, September 11, 2021 / Loading comments

Is there a more frivolous car on sale in 2021 than the new V8 Defender? Okay, alright – probably the answer is yes, given the market also readily sustains cars like the Ariel Nomad or the Aston Martin Speedster, which aren’t really of any use to anyone, save perhaps the adrenal gland of the lucky sod driving. The Defender will still carriage people and stuff in great comfort, after all – moreover, it’ll scale a mountain given half the chance.

But it doesn’t really need a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 to do any of this. And while the vast majority of its premium-badge, SUV-shaped rivals (and even stablemates) are engineered to go round corners like bluefin tuna, the Defender has mostly stuck to its amiable guns. Which means you’ve bought a genuine off-roader capable of going very quickly on road, yet with no obvious purpose to the added speed or noise or the associated running costs.

Probably this is why it’s so easy to recommend. As Dan pointed out when he wrote about the shorter model last week, there aren’t too many ‘completely daft new cars’ knocking about these days, and, unless increasing voltage is very much your idea of fun, there aren’t going to be very many more in the run-up to 2030 either. And rest assured, if the thought of tooling around in a 525hp Defender with four tailpipes appeals to you, then the car Land Rover has built will more than hit the spot.

For the manufacturer’s part, there is nothing much daft about the V8 model at all. Land Rover is building the car in both 90 and 110 guises because it is confident of selling them in profit-making volume – even when the starting price nudges £100k. More power to it, frankly; the next generation of soon-to-be-revealed Range Rover is likely to show just how straight laced the firm can be when push comes to forward-thinking shove. Until then, the Defender V8 is a timely reminder that cars don’t necessarily need to make much functional sense. Not when they’re making the right noise, anyway…


  • 2021 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 | PH Review
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