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The prospect of test driving the Land Rover Defender P525 V8 2021 had carsales’ John Mahoney wondering “what could be more irresistible than the combination of sports car levels of acceleration, unbeatable off-road capability and a soundtrack to die for?” By the end of his experience behind the wheel he had discovered a vehicle that “packs a pretty punch both on road and off.”

Incorporating a “buxom supercharged 5.0-litre V8”, Mahoney noted the Defender P525 also features a heavily reworked chassis and a new Dynamic program in its Terrain Response 2 drive mode system “that makes it more playful on and off-road”. The bespoke chassis “cleverly raises the bar for handling without compromising its off-road credentials or comfort”.

 

FASTER THAN ANY DEFENDER BEFORE

For the test, Mahoney started in a V8-powered Defender 90 on dirt. After pressing the starter button, he believed the noise of the refined, cultured V8 would be enough of a drawcard for some. Selecting Drive, Mahoney was impressed by the sharp throttle response, and when he floored the throttle “the Defender V8 feels indecently fast, especially on loose surfaces. Even on the sighting lap around a special rally stage set up for us to test the Defender V8, it proved it is both far faster and more neutral-handling than any Defender before it.”

Switching to the longer-wheelbase 110 V8 to test its on-road driving capabilities, Mahoney appreciated the car’s slightly slower, more measured responses. With the stiffer anti-roll bars, more reactive dampers and generally sharper responses of both V8 models, he found the Defender P525 remains comfortable on all surfaces, with precise handling. The Defender V8 is, he said, “seriously quick and sits pretty flat in corners, and we doubt the Mercedes-AMG G 63 would match the Land Rover's cross-country pace, on-road agility, overall refinement and sense of fun, thanks to the extra sophistication of its monocoque construction.”

After testing the car both on and off the road, Gardner struggled to find anything he didn't love about the Defender. 

© JAGUAR LAND ROVER LIMITED 2021

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

Smart settings available from mid-2021.

Important note on imagery & specification. We are living through exceptional times. Due to the Covid pandemic we have been prevented or delayed in the creation of new images of current model years. Now the global impact of micro-chip shortages is further affecting build specifications, options and launch timings. Until this unique event settles, please note that many images cannot be updated to 22 model year specifications. Features, options, trim and colour schemes will differ from many images. Customers are urged to consult your local Retailer for detailed 22 model year specifications and do not base an order on marketing imagery and specification alone.

Jaguar Land Rover Limited is constantly seeking ways to improve the specification, design and production of its vehicles, parts and accessories and alterations take place continually, and we reserve the right to change without notice. Some features may vary between optional and standard for different model years. The information, specification, engines and colours on this website are based on European specification and may vary from market to market and are subject to change without notice. Some vehicles are shown with optional equipment and retailer-fit accessories that may not be available in all markets. Please contact your local retailer for local availability and prices.

‡‡Price shown is the manufacturers recommended drive-away prices (MRDP) which applies to the vehicle model and optional features selected in the vehicle configurator and as described in the configuration summary. The MRDP is an estimated price which includes the manufacturer's recommended list price, any associated registration fees, applicable taxes (including GST), levies and CTP insurances at the time of publishing in accordance with the applicable state / territory legislation where the Retailer is located for a 12 month period. The MRDP may vary as a result of differences in price components such as location, stamp duty or registration fees. CTP rate is based on a private owner aged 40 with 0 demerit points, no accidents or driving convictions and the vehicle being garaged in the postcode entered. Some information presented or used in the MRDP calculation is sourced from third parties. Jaguar Land Rover Australia has made every effort to ensure accuracy, however please contact your preferred Jaguar Land Rover Retailer to confirm your actual drive-away price which may vary according to your individual circumstances, including any trade-in value agreed between you and the Retailer. Excludes fleet, government, rental buyers, hire car and chauffeur companies.