It’s tough to top Land Rover when it comes to iconic off-road vehicles. Sure, the series-one was loosely inspired by the Willy’s Jeep, but what a package it was; it’s estimated that the first car ever seen by a third of the world was the Land Rover. Regardless, one of the brand’s classics has come back in limited numbers.

The British automaker is continuing the rugged legacy of the original Defender with its extremely limited Works V8 Trophy spec vehicles – designed to compete in a special event around Eastnor Castle in 2021. Only 25 examples will be made, but what makes them so exceptional?

Gallery: Land Rover Defender Works V8 Trophy (2021)

In combating the copious amount of mud and grit that each vehicle is likely to experience in the British country lanes, each will be finished in a unique Eastnor Yellow colour. To balance the flashy – almost school bus yellow – base colour, the wheel arches, bonnet, and rear door will be sprayed in contrasting Narvik Black paint. Completing the exterior aesthetic will be LED headlamps, a heritage front grille, and a unique Land Rover Trophy badge.

Under the skin it comes with a 5.0-litre V8 powertrain putting out roughly 400 bhp (298 kilowatts); the spritely eight-cylinder engine will be connected to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Other modifications include uprated suspension, steering, braking, and a plethora of other upgrades tailored for off-road use.

Semantics aside, upon seeing their Defender Works V8 Trophy for the first time, buyers will add their name and country flag to the vehicle. After which, they will embark on a range of challenges inspired by famous global adventures and competitions from the Land Rover legacy. Sounds like good fun to us.

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Land Rover Classic is continuing the formidable expedition legacy of the original Defender with a limited production run of adventure-ready Defender Works V8 Trophy vehicles for an exclusive competition at Eastnor Castle in 2021.

Based on the re-engineered 2012-2016 Defender Works V8 specification developed by Land Rover Classic, including 405PS / 515Nm 5.0-litre V8 petrol powertrain, eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and comprehensive uprated suspension, steering and braking packages, the Trophy vehicles feature a wide range of additional upgrades specifically tailored for off-road use.

Twenty-five examples of the Defender Works V8 Trophy, in a mixture of 90 and 110 Station Wagon body designs, will be exclusively finished in a unique Eastnor Yellow paint colour with matching 16-inch steel wheels. Contrasting Narvik Black paintwork features on the wheel arches, bonnet and rear door. The purpose-built vehicles also receive LED headlamps, a Heritage front grille, unique Land Rover Trophy badging and event participation graphics personalised to each customer.

The Defender Works V8 Trophy is designed to tackle the most demanding endurance challenges. Additional all-terrain kit includes a front winch, multi-point expedition cage, roof rack, underbody protection, A-bar, raised air intake, LED spotlights and mud-terrain tyres.

Inside, the instantly recognisable 4x4 benefits from full black Windsor leather upholstery with Recaro sports seats, contrast yellow stitching and a bespoke Land Rover Trophy clock face by Elliot Brown. Land Rover Classic’s own Classic Infotainment System with integrated navigation and mobile device connectivity is also fitted.

Later this year*, Defender Works V8 Trophy customers will be invited to compete in an exclusive three-day adventure at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire – the spiritual home of Land Rover all-terrain training, testing and development. This will be the first time customers drive their car.

The Land Rover Defender has always been more than just a vehicle, its engineering capability and suitability for overland expedition and all-terrain competition means it’s renowned with getting away from it all. The new Land Rover Trophy will bring this to life for a new generation of adventurers.

Experiences are a key part of Land Rover Classic’s DNA and this whole concept comes directly from feedback we’ve received. Our customers want to create their own stories, battle scars and patina with their Works V8 Trophy vehicles from day one, fuelling campfire chats with like-minded enthusiasts.

We’re looking forward to an exciting and memorable event, full of camaraderie, and continuing the Land Rover Trophy legend for years to come. Seeing the silhouette of these vehicles which you’ll instantly know as a Land Rover, traversing the hills at Eastnor, will be a defining moment of the adventure.

On seeing their Defender Works V8 Trophy for the first time, customers and their co-drivers will make their first marks by adding their names and country flags to the vehicle. They will then embark on a range of challenges inspired by famous global adventures and competitions spanning more than seven decades of Land Rover production.

Expert one-to-one tuition will be provided as part of the adventure, giving customers a unique opportunity to develop extreme driving techniques and skills in their own vehicle, before putting their training to the test. Everyone will compete for a range of prizes, including a grand prize for the overall winner – to be announced later in 2021.

Familiar faces from Land Rover’s adventure heritage feature in the Defender Works V8 Trophy launch film, including racing driver, stunt driver and Land Rover ambassador Jessica Hawkins, alongside Camel Trophy participants such as 1989 event winner Bob Ives. A number of these experts will also be on-hand at the Land Rover Trophy to share their knowledge and experiences.

The Land Rover Trophy event will be supported by the New Defender and carefully selected brand partners Elliot Brown, Fat Face and Musto, who have created complementary products specifically for Defender Works V8 Trophy customers.

Both 90 and 110 wheelbase Defender Works V8 Trophy derivatives are now available to order direct from Land Rover Classic, with prices starting from £195,000 for a 90 in the UK.