The Land Rover Defender Octa is a 626bhp V8 all-terrain monster

Land Rover’s SVR badge may have been retired, but the Octa has now been launched as the most focused Defender model to date
The Land Rover Defender Octa
The Land Rover Defender Octa

We’ve heard the rumours and seen the test mules, now Land Rover has finally unveiled its range-topping Defender Octa in full ahead of its global debut at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed. With its name inspired by diamonds and their octahedral shape, this Defender 110-based model is set to be the toughest and sharpest Defender variant yet, costing from ₹1.54 crores(without India duties and taxes) when order books open later this year.

Unlike the ordinary Defender V8, which makes use of JLR’s now-discontinued supercharged 5-litre V8, the Octa features a BMW-derived 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged mild-hybrid unit, producing 626bhp and 750Nm of torque (800Nm in launch mode) to make it the most powerful factory Defender to date – its output is identical to its Range Rover Sport SV relative. 

Performance is predictably brisk, with 0-60mph said to come in 3.8sec and top speed at 250kmph when equipped with the lightweight 22-inch wheels and all-season tyres. The transmission is the same eight-speed unit as before, featuring high- and low-range ratios.

To match its heightened focus, the Defender Octa utilises numerous bespoke pieces of bodywork to set it apart from the rest of the range. Covering its widened track and bespoke 33-inch Goodyear all-terrain tyres are extended front and rear arches, adding 60mm to its overall width. A new front bumper has also been designed to match, and Land Rover took the opportunity to modify the grilles for airflow and improve approach and departure angles. The rear has received the same treatment, with a bespoke bumper incorporating the rectangular tips of its new active exhaust system. Proving these changes go beyond aesthetics, the Octa now has the highest wading depth of any Defender, at up to one metre.

More subtle tweaks can be found underneath, which now happens to be (slightly) more accessible than before thanks to a 28mm increase in ride height. Land Rover has added an aluminium alloy plate beneath the engine to offer greater impact protection, with bronze front and rear recovery points permanently on display. Look closely and you’ll also spot the Octa diamond graphic on each example, with a gloss black diamond displayed on a machined titanium disc.   

To ensure its new range-topper can perform both on-road and off, Land Rover has gone well beyond mere design tweaks and a power bump. Hydraulically interlinked in a similar fashion to the set-up found in modern McLarens, the Octa’s new 6D Dynamics suspension is said to make it the sharpest Defender yet and capable of all but eliminating pitch and body roll on the road. Its flexibility also allows for a huge range of motion when off-road, ensuring it maintains the loose-surface performance we’ve come to expect.

Longer, tougher wishbones and new active dampers with separate accumulators are among the uprated chassis components designed to contribute to the Octa’s performance, with uprated 400mm front brake discs and the fastest steering ratio on any Defender also part of the package. As you’d expect, there are a variety of driver modes to take advantage of this new hardware, including an Octa mode to boost performance off-road and apply a dedicated anti-lock braking calibration for loose surfaces. 

The cabin features the same rugged design as the rest of the range, but new Performance seats are now equipped for improved support, featuring more substantial bolsters, integrated headrests and in-seat speakers for more immersive sound. Opt for the Edition One and you’ll also receive ‘3D Knit’ materials, chopped carbonfibre trim (similar to the forged carbonfibre launched on the Huracán Performante) and Khaki and Ebony Ultrafabric upholstery; a set of 20-inch forged wheels also come as part of the Edition One package. 

The Land Rover Defender Octa will make its first public appearance at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month before its dynamic debut up the famous hillclimb. Order books are set to open imminently, where buyers will pay around ₹1.54 crores(without India duties and taxes) standard Octa or ₹1.70 crores (without India duties and taxes) for the Edition One.

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