• Your Old Land Rover Defender Will Thank You for These Upgrades

They’re carmaker-produced and certified, just waiting to freshen-up your oldie Defender

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As far as iconic 4x4s go, whenever we hear the words off-roading there are two imagines that flash into the back of our heads. One’s the G-Class, while the other is the Defender. The former is itself a story, but we’ll leave that for another time. Now, the latter, on the one hand, has recently been part of a year-long hype because Land Rover is gearing up to reveal its reinterpreted 2020 Defender. Pre-production tests are nearing an end and with a bit of luck, we’ll be seeing the new Defender in a couple of months. That aside, here’s one for you: what will happen to the old Defenders out there? Well, some of them will still be left to rust on back alleys but those owned by sane enthusiasts get another chance at greatness thanks to a rather unexpected move from Land Rover Classic. By move, we really mean the release of a handful of packages that upgrade older Defenders and build on their genuine charm.

Did You Say Parts For My Good Ol’ Defender? Tell me more!

Your Old Land Rover Defender Will Thank You for These Upgrades
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Well, here’s the deal. Following we-don’t-know-what star alignment, Land Rover Classic decided to offer upgrade kits that would imbue older Defenders. Not only that, but the components are inspired by the Defender Works V8 70th Edition. In case that doesn’t ring a bell, we’ll get to it later. For now, you should also know that these bits and bobs are the first of their kind to be offered officially by JLR and most importantly, they allow the enhancement of any Defender 90 and Defender 110 built between 1994 and 2016.

The Land Rover Defender Factory Upgrade Kits Cover A Lot Of Bases

Your Old Land Rover Defender Will Thank You for These Upgrades
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First things first: the design bit.

Land Rover says its Classic arm will offer diamond-turned 18-inch Sawtooth alloy wheels that are compatible with MY1994-onwards Defenders.

That’s because the Sawtooth wheels in this size only fit Defenders built after VIN LA930456 (the car wearing that particular VIN was assembled in April 1993). For older models, you might need later-spec wheel studs. Moving on to suspension, the upgrade kit will fit any MY2007-onwards Defenders and brings a retuned setup that includes revised coil spring rates, dampers, anti-roll bars, links, and bushes. JRL says the whole arrangement was conceived with on-road comfort in mind, without overlooking dynamics. Well, if you care for our two cents, we’d be looking for comfort rather than composure during spirited driving, especially since the parts have a strong stock flavour, making any car that gets them an attention magnet. Plus, let’s be honest, Defenders weren’t made for twisty roads in the first place

Your Old Land Rover Defender Will Thank You for These Upgrades
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Naturally, we saved the best for last. Off-roading ladies and gents, the icing on the cake as far as these upgrade kits go touches on 2.2-liter TDCi models built from 2012 onwards. In other words, you are looking at updates that touch on wheels, brakes, and suspension but also tires and, drumroll, an engine upgrade that adds 40 horsepower and 103 Nm (76 pounds-feet) to the existing output for a grand total of 160 horsepower and 463 Nm (341 pound-feet) of torque. Top speed also goes up to 170 km/h (106 mph).

Let Us Refresh Your Memory On The Defender Works V8 70th Edition

Packing 405 horsepower and 380 pound-feet (515 Nm) coming from a 5-liter V-8 engine, the Defender Works 70th Edition can blast from 0 to 96 km/h (60 mph) in 5.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 170 km/h (106 mph).

The engine is married to a ZF-sourced eight-speed gearbox that has a sport mode and is touted to change gears in just 200 milliseconds. A dual-speed transfer case can shift up to 90 percent of available torque between the front and rear axle, depending on what a given scenario requires. The Works V8 conversion is also as exclusive as they come - only 150 cars will get it, but the good news is it was designed to suit both the 90 and 110 models. Oh, and it also radically changes the interior through the addition of Recaro sport seats wrapped in Taurus leather and a full-leather cabin covered in Windsor hides. As for price, well, a Defender 90 with this treatment is £150,000 ($206,800, roughly), while the 110 requires £10,000 more.

Land Rover Defender Works V8 70th Edition Specs

Your Old Land Rover Defender Will Thank You for These Upgrades
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Engine V8
Displacement 5 liters
Power 405 hp
Torque 380 lb-ft / 515 Nm
0-60 mph 5.6 seconds
Top speed 170 km/h / 106 mph
Starting price £150,000 / $206,800
Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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