Land Rover Unveils Exclusive Islay Edition Defender

Jacob Brooke
May 4, 2023

Land Rover Classic has unveiled its first heritage-themed special edition Defender, the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition. This limited edition model pays homage to Spencer Wilks, the Rover Car Company's Managing Director and one of Land Rover's founders, and the Isle of Islay, Scotland, where the Land Rover name originated. Only 30 units will be produced, with 17 available as a 90 short wheelbase and 13 as a seven-seat 110 version.

The Islay Edition is based on the same technical specifications as the Classic Defender Works V8, featuring a 298 kW 5.0-liter V8 petrol engine paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Donor vehicles from 2012-2016 are carefully restored, re-engineered, and upgraded to provide a luxurious and collectible classic Defender.

The exterior is finished in Heritage Grey with a Limestone roof and matching heavy-duty steel wheels. The interior is trimmed in luxurious leather, featuring unique tweed detailing from the Islay Woollen Mill. A specially designed center cubby incorporates a removable wooden tray crafted from walnut and actual whisky cask barrel oak sourced from Islay's award-winning Kilchoman Distillery.

The Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition offers modern enhancements, including LED headlights, uprated suspension, and braking systems for improved on-road performance and dynamics. Prices start at £230,000 for the 90 and £245,000 for the 110 in the UK.

JLR Australia will not be importing the Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition. All customer enquiries should be directed to Land Rover Classic - / +44 (0) 2476 566 600 /

Quick Stats:

  • Engine: 4,999cc V8 naturally-aspirated petrol (EU5)
  • Power: 298 kW @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 515 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic, AWD, two-speed transfer box, heavy-duty diffs, torque-biasing center diff
  • Front suspension: live beam axle, coil springs, telescopic dampers, Panhard rod, Radius arms, anti-roll bar
  • Rear suspension: live beam axle, coil springs, telescopic dampers, 'A' frame, Trailing Links, anti-roll bar
  • Front brakes: Servo-assisted 335mm discs, four-piston calipers
  • Rear brakes: Servo-assisted 300mm discs, four-piston calipers
  • Wheels & tires: 16in heavy-duty steel wheels, mud-terrain tires
  • Steering: Recirculating ball, power-assisted
  • 0-60mph: 5.6 secs
  • Top speed: 106mph

Watch our review of the new Defender here!

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Jacob Brooke
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.

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