Sound and Fury – The Defender V8’s Growl Is Not Just For Show, Says Local Distributor

With the imminent phaseout of the internal combustion engine (ICE) looming on the horizon, fossil fuel-powered vehicles are seemingly running on borrowed time. That means each ICE-powered release, particularly of more premium marques, must be regarded with a greater sense of consideration and, yes, value.

Take the latest iteration of the Defender V8, recently introduced in the local market by Jaguar Land Rover Philippines. If you want a piece of the action, now’s the time to get it.

“We love a bit of power; we love the V8. It has a finite life, doesn’t it? The EV (electric vehicle) people are on their way to squash the V8, but we’re going to give it a run before this ICE age disappears,” declared IC Land Automotive, Inc. Vice President Chris Ward in a speech after the unveiling at the Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

IC Land Automotive, Inc. Vice President Chris Ward talks about the Defender V8 after its local launch.

There’s no mistaking its power, just based on the good-ol’-fashioned engine note that was demonstrated to attendees of the launch. “JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) took its time to curate the noise that comes from a V8. It needs to sound good from the outside,” he said.

“It’s quick, it’s powerful, has a lot of horsepower and torque. It moves the Defender in a very, very swift way,” the executive added. The Defender V8 comes in 90 and 110 guises – boasting a new supercharged 5.0-liter engine that serves up 525ps and 625Nm. It is said to be the most powerful production Defender ever, mustering a standstill-to-100kph time of 5.4 seconds (in the Defender 110) and 5.2 ticks (Defender 90) and a top rate of 240kph for both. 

With Ward are (left) Inchcape Philippines Managing Director Managing Director for South Asia & Pacific Alex Hammett and Inchcape Philippines COO Francis Jonathan Ang

Building on “decades of Land Rover V8 heritage,” the Defender V8, insisted Ward, is “much different” from previously released variants. On its exterior, the V8 is distinguished by quad exhaust pipes; black performance brake calipers; 22-inch alloy wheels; so-called Shadow Atlas detailing; black contrast on the bonnet, roof, and tailgate, matrix LED headlamps with signature DRLs, sliding panoramic roof, and an electronically deployable tow bar. 

And that guttural, beastly beautiful engine note? “The sound of performance was something we created… this has a particularly unique sound,” narrated Ward. “It’s designed to be all or nothing. It’s aggression right from the outset.”

Inside, the Defender V8 gets Windsor leather with Dinamica Suedecloth and Robustec. The steering wheel is also wrapped in Suedecloth. The infotainment system is predicated on a 11.4-inch PIVI Pro, which expresses its sound through a Meridian Surround setup blurting out 700 watts of power through 15 speakers (including a subwoofer). A head-up display is also provided to the driver. A three-zone climate control system with Rear Cooling Assist appears on the 110; the 90 doesn’t have the latter feature. Additionally the Defender V8 also gets a refrigerator on its front center console. It has configurable cabin lighting, and illuminated treadplates with V8 script.

“The Defender V8 also has two characters,” continued Ward. “The reason why is that we have configurable dynamics in this car. This allows you to decide, based on your mood, how you would like the car to be set up.” For everyday situations, there’s Comfort Mode for a soft-ride option. For a bit more fun, Ward suggests to engage what he calls the “angry mode” that switches on the adaptive suspension, and allows the differentials to “do more complex stuff that can allow and compensate for the extra power that you have in this car.” 

“It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he stated. 

The Defender 110 V8 Carpathian Edition P525 is priced at P17.79 million and P18.55 million (with the V8 Bespoke Accessory Pack); the Defender 90 V8 costs P16.99 million and P17.75 million (with V8 Bespoke Accessory Pack).

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