If you thought the Defender with the Supercharged V8 was an exclusive model, you will now have to think again. The range of the hardcore British off-roader is being extended upwards by welcoming the new Defender Octa, the most powerful and exclusive Defender in the model's entire history. Not for nothing, the name Octa is a reference to the octahedron or diamond shape: the strongest and most luxurious material on earth.

Under the bonnet is a twin-turbocharged V8 producing 635 PS and 750 Nm of torque, which gives the model the performance of a thoroughbred sports car even when you feel like getting your wheels a little dirty off the tarmac. All this while travelling on board a cabin with attention to the smallest detail, where the watchword is only one: luxury.

Defender Octa exterior

The new Defender Octa is only offered in combination with the 110 body variant. The length remains the same as all other versions on the list, in the region of 5 metres. What really changes are height and width. The former has increased by 28 millimetres, while the latter by as much as 68 millimetres. The latter inevitably affects the proportions of the car. In fact, to make room for the new, increased track widths, the body has been considerably widened, now sporting very pronounced wing flares.

Land Rover Defender Octa

Rear view of the Land Rover Defender Octa

Also new is the large air intake in the centre of the front bumper, specially developed to meet the large air requirement of the engine. Also new is the skidplate positioned at the bottom of the front, which on the Octa is made of graphite and in the centre of this is a large fixed tow hook. At the rear, on the other hand, the differences are concentrated in the lower part of the bumper, where the exhaust is now incorporated into the bumper and is characterised by the presence of four square-shaped tailpipes.

Defender Octa, the interior

The interior of the Defender Octa follows the style and content of all other Defender models in the range, with the exception of the seats. These were developed specifically for this model and feature a shell construction with built-in headrests. They are very supportive, but thanks to the very soft upholstery they are still comfortable. Of course they are equipped with heating and cooling, and there is also a massage function. 

The only other differences are concentrated in the steering wheel. Here, on the lower spoke, there is a button that, when pressed, allows access to the Octa driving mode, which allows the car's full performance potential to be exploited. Also new are the paddles behind the steering wheel, the top of which glows red once the sportiest driving mode is engaged.

Land Rover Defender Octa

The interior of the Land Rover Defender Octa

Defender Octa, engines and technology

Powering the Defender Octa is an all-new engine. It is a 4.4-litre twin turbo mild-hybrid V8 developed in collaboration with BMW, capable of developing 635 PS from 5,855 rpm and 750 Nm of torque from just 1,800 rpm.

Numbers that, despite a kerb weight of 3,230 kg, allow the Octa to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just four seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph. The unit is also equipped with a mild-hybrid system that provides a boost of 30 PS and 180 Nm at peak power demand. The gearbox, on the other hand, remains the ZF8.

Land Rover Defender Octa

The fording capacity of the Defender Octa is 1,000 mm

To cope with the new performance, the Defender Octa's set-up has been thoroughly revised. It can now rely on the new 6D Dynamics system, which replaces the traditional anti-roll bars and compensates for body movements by acting directly on the electronically controlled suspension. This makes it possible to limit roll and pitch both on the road and off-road where, in addition, the Octa can now count on better attack and exit angles and a record 1,000 millimetre fording capacity.

In its 'standard' configuration, the Octa is offered in combination with 22-inch alloy wheels with all-season tyres with a particularly road-focused footprint. With these tyres the car is able to reach 155 mph without any difficulty.

Land Rover Defender Octa

Land Rover Defender Octa offroad

For those who also want to take advantage of the meanest Defender of all off-road, Land Rover also offers two different BF Goodrich off-road tyres for 20-inch alloy wheels. With those with intermediate tread, however, the model's top speed is limited to 209 km/h, while with the even more offroad-specific ones the speed is limited to 130 mph.

Defender Octa, prices

The Defender Octa is made in small series and is offered in two trim levels. The first, simply called Octa, is offered at a price of £145,300 (OTR). For those looking for the ultimate in exclusivity, on the other hand, there is the Edition One, produced in an even smaller number of units and distinguished by the use of carbon fibre for various inserts on the bodywork and inside the cabin. In this case the price rises to £160,800 (OTR).  

Defender Octa, the competitors

When talking about ultra-luxury off-roaders, one cannot fail to mention the Mercedes G 63 AMG as it is the alternative par excellence to the Defender, also in Octa version. It has a 585 PS V8 and a list price of £184,595.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to give up some of the off-road character that characterises the Defender, then you could go for the 530 PS BMW X7 M60i, which when it comes to luxury and exclusivity is second to none. All for just under £113,055.

Gallery: Land Rover Defender Octa