Defender Octa teaser

Most powerful Defender ever: twin-turbo V8 with up to 626bhp for new Land Rover Defender Octa

Land Rover teases forthcoming off the wall off-roader

Land Rover has confirmed a high-powered, high-specification Defender will join the off-roader’s family later this year, taking performance and tech DNA from the Range Rover Sport SV.

Dubbed the Defender Octa, the newcomer takes its name from the octahedron shape of a diamond, which Land Rover says reflects the car’s toughness, exclusivity and luxury.

The British brand has described the Octa as an “all-terrain hero”, with a twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine making it the most powerful Defender ever.

Although Land Rover hasn’t said as much, it’s thought the new engine will be the 4.4-litre BMW engine seen in the new Range Rover Sport SV. Whether it will achieve the same 626bhp output remains to be seen, but anything in that order would comfortably fill the “most powerful Defender” brief.

Defender Octa teaser

Advanced suspension

The company has confirmed the hardware that will be pinched from the Range Rover Sport SV’s parts bins for the Octa, however, with the “6D” air suspension system carried over to limit body roll during cornering. Having been a success in the SV, it’s expected to transform the Defender’s driving experience by almost completely eliminating pitch and roll.

At the same time, the suspension system is designed to maximise independent wheel travel and articulation while off-roading.

And while Land Rover hasn’t confirmed as much in writing, the company’s teaser images suggest the new Defender model will get Brembo brakes similar to those fitted to the Range Rover Sport SV, while all-terrain tyres are expected to feature as standard.

Defender Octa teaser

“We’re incredibly excited for the way in which Octa will broaden the appeal of Defender for UK clients,” said Jaguar Land Rover UK’s managing director, Patrick McGillycuddy.

“This highly exclusive new model takes the brand to new heights, exploring the ultimate in tough luxury, and blending performance and off-road capability in one enthralling vehicle.”

Still undergoing testing

The car is currently undergoing a testing process that Land Rover calls the “most exhaustive development regime in Defender history”, with tests taking place on icy surfaces in Sweden, the sands of Dubai and the asphalt surface of the Nürburgring race track in Germany. The car has also been rock-crawling in Utah.

Defender Octa teaser

Set for launch later this year, the Octa will be the pinnacle of the Defender range but, as with the exact engine choice, Land Rover has yet to reveal the final design. Instead, we’re left with a distant teaser image of a prototype vehicle and some small details.

The new Octa logo, which has been released along with the teaser images, will mark out future range-topping models. Continuing the diamond theme, it shows a black diamond shape in a circle, which will be illuminated on the car’s steering wheel.

Externally, the black diamond will appear on a titanium badge that has been machined and sandblasted, with titanium chosen for its robustness and resistance to the elements.

“Defender has been synonymous with all-terrain capability with a bloodline tracing back to the Series 1 in 1948,” said Mark Cameron, the managing director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Defender division, adding that “it will enable our clients to master epic adventures in heightened luxury.”

Defender Octa teaser

Customers interested in the new Octa model are invited to register their interest with their local Land Rover dealer, and prospective buyers will be invited to special preview events ahead of the car’s full launch later this year.

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