Land Rover Classic bolsters Defender capability with new upgrade kits
3 August 2019 - autoblog
Range of components pulled from 70th anniversary Defender Works V8
The new Land Rover Defender isn't far from its premiere showing, but Land Rover's not done showing love to the original. Last year the most English brand released a limited edition short wheelbase Defender Works V8 to celebrate the company's 70th anniversary. The truck, constrained to 150 examples, was powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with 399 horsepower and given a smattering of upgraded parts to manage the power. Now Land Rover Classic has released a line of performance sweeteners based off the parts bolted to the 70th anniversary model, including wheels, brakes, and suspension, built to fit any Defender 90 or 110 model.
The easiest point of entry is the 18-inch, diamond-turned Sawtooth wheel. Costing £432 each ($525), they slide right onto any Defender made after 1994. Previous model years could need different wheel studs.
The Defender Suspension Upgrade Kit heightens on-road responses and works on any Defender built from the 2007 model year. It swaps the stock unit for retuned dampers, coil springs with revised rates, and new anti-roll bars, links, and bushings. The kit costs £1822 ($2,230) for the 90 series and £2247 ($2,749) for the 110. The Defender Handling Upgrade Kit bundles a set of Sawtooth wheels and the suspension with 13.1-inch front and 11.8-inch rear slotted brake rotors, four-piston calipers, and new pads. Pricing climbs to £9967 ($12,192) for a 90 and £10,391 ($12,711) for a 110.
The biggest bang comes with the Defender Classic Works Upgrade Kit, which is only for the 2.2-liter TDCi models built from the 2012 model year. That starts with the Handling Upgrade Kit, which adds 39 extra horsepower, performance tires, and special badging. Top speed climbs to the same 106 mph of the Defender Works V8, but with the diesel's 106 hp and 341 pound-feet of torque, the 5.6-second 0-60 will remain out of reach.
This is a Euro-focused campaign. The first three kits can be ordered and installed at any Land Rover dealership, but the Defender Classic Works Upgrade Kit is only available for purchase and installation at the Land Rover Classic centers in either Coventry, England, or Essen, Germany. The comprehensive kit costs £16,995 ($20,685), which includes picking up the vehicle, installation, a certificate of authenticity, a two-hour inspection, oil and filter change, and a tour of the facility. We don't have a Land Rover Classic in the United States yet, but outfitters like East Coast Defender would probably be happy to get you in the ballpark.