New Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is the first heritage themed Works V8 to come from Land Rover Classic with a unique specification.
Land Rover Classic has revealed its first heritage themed special edition Defender – the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition. The themed edition celebrates both the remarkable Spencer Wilks, Managing Director of the Rover Car Company and one of the founders of Land Rover, and the Isle of Islay, Scotland, where the Land Rover name was born, as contributors to the unrivalled legacy of Defender.
The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is inspired by a Series IIa Land Rover owned and used by Spencer Wilks, that now forms part of the Land Rover Classic collection, and the Hebridean island where he holidayed. The Defender Islay Edition is priced from £230,000 for the 90, and £245,000 for the 110.
The Wilks’ Laggan Estate on Islay was used to test early prototypes and in 1947, while driving his heavily modified Rover across the rugged landscape, the estate’s gamekeeper remarked that it must be a “Land Rover”, thus the name was born.
Based on the same technical specification as the Classic Defender Works V8, the Islay Edition is powered by a 405hp 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Each one is comprehensively restored, re-engineered and upgraded, utilising donor vehicles from 2012-2016. Each carefully crafted and hand-assembled vehicle provides a unique proposition to discerning clients looking for a truly luxurious, comprehensively engineered, collectible classic Defender, direct from the original manufacturer.
The Works V8 Islay Edition is limited to 30 examples, all Station Wagons, with 17 available as a 90 short wheelbase and 13 available as a seven-seat 110 version.
” In 2023, we celebrate 75 years of Land Rover. Spencer Wilks and the Isle of Islay are an important part of our history, and the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is a fitting way to help us celebrate a landmark anniversary. It references a special vehicle in our collection, Spencer Wilks’ beautiful Series IIa, and is influenced by the special products and incredible nature of Islay itself. The authenticity, modern engineering, and exquisite execution from our skilled engineers and technicians, make this limited-edition Classic Defender a very special vehicle for our discerning clients looking for the ultimate heritage Land Rover.” – PAUL BARRITTDIRECTOR, LAND ROVER CLASSIC
The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is finished in Heritage Grey – informed by the Mid Grey paint of Wilks’ original vehicle – with a contrast roof and heavy-duty steel wheels finished in Limestone. The wheelarches are also finished in Heritage Grey for an even more refined exterior design.
Traditional Land Rover logos and badging are finished in body colour and there’s a classic-style grille, familiar from the run-out Defender Heritage Limited Edition, while rear mudflaps also feature the iconic heritage branding.
Unique to the Works V8 Islay Edition is a side graphic reading ‘GXC 639C’ – the registration of Wilks’ Series IIa – which provides a subtle nod to the vehicle that inspired this themed version of the ultimate classic Defender.
As has been the case for previous editions of Defender Works V8s, the Islay Edition features modern enhancements including LED headlights for enhanced visibility. These technical additions extend to comprehensive enhancements under the skin, which include uprated suspension and braking systems, tailored for superior on-road performance and dynamics.
The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition uses the same foundations as the Classic Defender Works V8. Each vehicle is a painstakingly restored and rebuilt classic Defender that has been expertly sourced by Land Rover Classic’s specialists.
Donor vehicles date from 2012-2016 and Land Rover Classic installs a modern naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 powertrain with eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Offering 405hp and 515Nm of torque, performance is effortless.
The Islay Edition – like the Works V8 – will accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds, while top speed is rated at 106mph. Every example is specially selected and reengineered, with the Defender Suspension Upgrade Kit comprising uniquely tuned suspension that’s tailored for enhanced on-road comfort and dynamics, with revised coil spring rate and dampers. The Handling Upgrade Kit is also included, which provides uprated Works V8 specification brake discs, pads and calipers for enhanced stopping power.