Love them or loathe them, there is something undeniable cool about a Defender. Yes, they may be lacking in the driver feedback department, and yes, they might now look more at home outside a private school than they would inside a mud-filled pond, but who can resist that loveable, boxy shape?
It certainly seems Land Rover can’t, and their latest creation is a celebration of its evolution. The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is the first heritage themed Works V8 to come from Land Rover Classic and takes inspiration from the 1965 Land Rover Series IIa owned by Spencer Wilks, co-founder of Land Rover, and the land surrounding Islay in Scotland, a place where this iconic off-roader was born.
Finished in a glorious shade known as Heritage Grey, the classic look is complimented by a Limestone roof and matching heavy-duty steel wheels. Inside, passengers are welcomed by rich Windsor ebony leather seats, which continues along the side trim, doors, roof lining and dashboard. A body colour detail surrounds the centre console and Classic Infotainment System, home to some handy tech that the original Land Rover could only dream of, such as satellite navigation, a DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. Perhaps our favourite aspect of this special edition are the links to the Isle of Islay, found in the form of thoughtful details on the shoulder area of the seats and sections of the door cards, all finished in tweed and crafted by the Islay Woollen Mill.
Despite looking similar to the original Land Rover, this modern interpretation certainly packs more of a punch. 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.
If you’re as in love as we are, the Works V8 Islay Edition will be limited to just 30 examples, all Station Wagons, with 17 available as a 90 short wheelbase and 13 available as a seven-seat 110 version. The price? Gulp - £230,000!