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Most powerful Land Rover Defender ever coming to South Africa

Land Rover this week teased the new Defender Octa, billed as the most powerful of its kind ever produced.

The high-performance SUV is earmarked to be released before the end of 2024 and is currently undergoing the most daunting development regime in Defender history, which includes snow and ice surfing in Sweden, desert driving in Dubai, track attacks at the Nurburgring in Germany, and rock crawls in the Moab region of Jordan.

Fans of the brand will be elated to know that the new Octa will be available in South Africa as the headlining model of the Defender family once it is officially released, the British marque’s domestic subsidiary confirmed to TopAuto.

With its launch still a ways away, Land Rover could unfortunately not divulge whether the Octa will become a permanent fixture in its portfolio or only be sold in a limited run to select customers – à la the Defender V8 007 Bond Edition.

“I can confirm that the Defender Octa will be available in South Africa. More information on the Defender Octa will be made available in due time” is all a spokesperson for the automaker said.

Prospective clients will be invited to attend exclusive previews of the off-roader ahead of its full reveal later this year, and those who are yearning to have one in their garage can already register their interest at their nearest Defender dealer.

Everything we know about the new Defender Octa

The new Octa will feature a twin-turbocharged V8 mill supported by mild-hybrid technologies lending it the designation of the “most powerful Defender ever,” said the brand.

At present, this driveline’s performance figures are still a mystery, but it should produce more than the 386kW and 625Nm that the standard Defender V8 puts out, meaning it should be capable of smashing 100km/h in around five seconds flat and reaching a top speed of 240km/h.

Apart from the uprated engine, the Octa will be the first Defender to receive the 6D Dynamics suspension system that was previously reserved for the Range Rover Sport SV.

“The hydraulic interlinked 6D Dynamics technology features an innovative pitch and roll control system that will enable Defender Octa to maintain a near-level stance during acceleration, braking, and cornering on-road, while also maximising independent wheel travel and articulation across the most demanding off-road terrain,” said Land Rover.

From the teaser images, we can see it will also get Brembo brakes and distinctive rally-look wheels, suggesting an aggressive appearance to go along with its dynamic personality.

Underscoring its high-octane, ultra-premium credentials, Land Rover has designed an exclusive octahedral diamond badge for the new Octa so that you won’t confuse it with just any old Defender V8.

The distinctive logo features on a number of interior and exterior components, including on the brakes, steering wheel, and as a gloss-black diamond within a machined and sandblasted titanium disc on the side panniers.

Thus far, the Defender Octa has only been shown in the “110” body style, so it is unclear at this point in time whether it will also be offered in 90 or 130 guises.

In terms of pricing, it will be positioned as the new headlining Defender, so expect a window sticker north of R3 million.

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