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The Land Rover Defender V8 is back. Until the 1990s a woofly big petrol engine was a staple in the Defender range but, barring a few special editions since, it has been largely absent from Land Rover’s most versatile vehicle.

Now, though, in this new Defender, the V8 is back. The new V8 Defender can be had in short or long wheelbase, 90 or 110, forms. And in either way, performance is strong. The V8 is a 5.0-litre supercharged unit making 518bhp and 461lb ft, which is good for 0-62mph in 4.9sec and a 149mph top speed.

What it’s less good for, perhaps unsurprisingly, is sipping only a little fuel. This is a 19.3mpg, 330g/km car. And it’s quite expensive, costing from at least £98,575.

But maybe, just maybe, the appeal of a big, lustful V8 makes it worth it? Join Matt Prior as he finds out.

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