Extreme Land Rover Defender Octa due in July with snarling V8

As JLR prepares the first electric Range Rover for launch, it is also gearing up to reveal the most extreme V8-powered 4×4 it has yet produced.

The Defender Octa will be revealed on 3 July as a highly exclusive and extremely capable super-off-roader, which is set to use the twin-turbocharged, mild-hybrid 4.4-litre V8 from BMW, as deployed in the X5 and X6 M super-SUVs.

Just 1070 examples of this hardcore special edition will come to the UK in its first year of production, featuring “tough luxury material choices, striking exterior and interior design enhancements, and the options available to make every adventure epic”, according to JLR.

The latest round of preview images show the Octa being subjected to “the most extreme” test programme of any Defender variant yet, with engineers conducting a claimed 13,960 additional tests on top of the standard Defender test programme.

So far, it has conducted countless laps of the Nordschleife, tackled Michelin’s wet-weather handling circuit in France, had its traction control put to the test on Swedish ice and taken on some of the world’s most challenging off-road trails in Dubai and Utah.

It has also, JLR says, “conquered every extreme trail” at the company’s 4×4 test track in Eastnor, Herefordshire.

Interested customers are being invited to sign up for one of seven ‘Defender Elements’ preview events being hosted worldwide in the coming weeks, but the firm has given no indication of pricing yet. It’s safe to assume the Octa’s limited, extreme billing will take it well clear of the £114k asked for today’s most expensive Defender.

Previously thought to carry the long-dormant SVX branding, the radical new off-roader has been spotted testing several times, but only now – a few months before its debut – has the firm given the first official details of the new model.

It will be the first car to wear the new Octa badge, which JLR says will be used for all future range-topping Defender models. The name is said to come from the octahedron shape of a diamond, the hardest naturally occurring mineral on Earth – a reflection, no doubt, of both the car’s durability and price. 

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