Following the success of Land Rover’s previous Works V8 Trophy limited-edition that paid homage to the Camel Trophy off-roaders of the 1980s and ’90s, a second series of rebuilt, premium-finished Works Trophy Defenders has been announced.
As with the Works V8 Trophy limited-edition from 2021, this new version – the Works V8 Trophy II – will be based on the classic Land Rover Defender and limited to just 25 units globally. Each will be fully rebuilt using original MY12-16 Defenders as a base, updating the running gear and interior with a range of premium features.
Where this limited-edition differs from last year’s Works V8 Trophy offering is that it will not only be available as a 90 or 110 wagon, but also as a 110 dual cab ute.
Another point of difference is the exterior colour. Instead of last year’s Eastnor Yellow, these new tributes will be finished in Fuji White with a Narvik Black roof, complemented with a satin black bonnet, black exterior detailing and distinctive decals that depict the 23 different locations the Camel Trophy and its successor, the G4 Challenge, were held in, as well as the ‘First Overland’ expedition from 1955 that saw students from Oxford and Cambridge universities drive a pair of Land Rover SIs more than 36,000 miles from London to Singapore and back.
“Our latest Classic Works V8 Trophy II honours this expedition heritage in its unique exterior design, paying homage to some of these stunning locations,” said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.
“Each of the 25 vehicles available is a labour of love, sourced, assembled and remastered by our passionate specialist team. As well as taking delivery of a highly collectible vehicle, our owners will have the unique opportunity to put theirs to the ultimate test in a bespoke Land Rover Trophy event.”
The graphics, developed by Land Rover Special Vehicles, are unique to each of the 25 vehicles in the limited-edition, giving a camouflage look to the exterior, with the silhouettes of the various countries combining in some sections to show the shapes of famous Land Rover models.
Continuing the monochrome theme, 18-inch ‘Sawtooth’ alloy wheels are painted gloss black, with other exterior details, like vents and fasteners, also finished in black.
Each unit in the Classic Defender Works V8 Trophy II limited-edition is powered by a 5.0-litre petrol V8, producing a claimed 298kW and 515Nm – the same output as the last factory Defender V8 from 2018, but a huge increase on the 67kW produced by the original V8-powered Defender in 1979.
This naturally-aspirated engine is matched to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, also seen on the last of the original Defenders from 2018, with both units completely rebuilt for the limited-editions.
Full-time four-wheel drive is standard, with a two-speed transfer case, heavy-duty front and rear diffs and a torque-biasing centre diff also standard
Suspension is upgraded, with the Defender’s live axles fitted with coil springs, telescopic shocks and anti-roll bars front and rear. The front end gets a Panhard rod and radius arms, with an A-frame and trailing links at the rear.
Braking and steering are also upgraded, with 335mm front and 300mm rear discs fitted with four-piston calipers, while the recirculating ball steering is power assisted.
In addition to the standard four-wheel drive running gear, other features on the Classic Defender Works V8 Trophy II that pay tribute to the model’s go-anywhere history include an external roll cage and full-length roof rack, front-mounted winch, 1.27m LED light bar above the windscreen (complementing the LED headlights), rear recovery hook and rock sliders.
The 18-inch alloys are fitted with mud terrain tyres and a 500mm wading depth is quoted.
In the cabin, there’s a luxury touch that starts with full Windsor leather trim on the seats, doorcards, dash, centre console and even the headlining. Recaro front sports seats have white centre sections, Land Rover Trophy identification embossed into the headrests and contrasting white stitching that continues throughout the interior.
There’s also a pistol-grip shifter for the auto and a modern infotainment system with integrated navigation function and mobile device connectivity.
The finishing touch inside is an Elliot Brown ‘Competitor’s Edition’ clock that’s mounted in the upper dash and features a face inspired by the camouflage look of the exterior.
20 and 5
Of the 25 units of the Classic Defender Works V8 Trophy II to be produced by Land Rover Classic, 20 will be in the wagon body, split evenly across 90 and 110 variants, with the remaining five to be built with the 110 dual cab ute body.
Given the limited production run and the fact that past examples of collectable special editions like this have been snapped up as soon as they were announced, the Classic Defender Works V8 Trophy II is most likely already sold out by the time you read this, despite a starting price of £225,000 (AU$395,000 approx.).
While the Classic Defender Works V8 Trophy II will be out of reach for many, Land Rover Classic are planning to release a range of Trophy-influenced genuine accessories later this year.