July 21, 2024
News

The Land Rover Defender Octa: A Powerful 626-HP Competitor Ready to Challenge the Raptors of the World

Land Rover is providing the Defender with a significant boost in performance and capability through the new Defender Octa, which has finally been unveiled after extensive testing and spy shots. It features a new BMW-sourced engine, a wider stance, an updated chassis, and a more rugged appearance, all aimed at making it the most extreme Defender to date.

The major update with the Octa is that Land Rover has replaced the old supercharged AJ 5.0-liter V8 with BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter mild-hybrid V8 also found in the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. While some enthusiasts may miss the supercharger whine, this engine still delivers with 626 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with a low-range gearbox.

Photo: Land Rover

The Defender Octa can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, an impressive feat for a vehicle of its size. At full throttle, it can reach a top speed of 155 mph with the appropriate wheels and tires. Buyers can choose between street-focused wheels and tires or robust off-road ones with 33-inch all-terrain Goodyear rubber.

Land Rover has raised the height of the Defender Octa by 1.1 inches, not just for aesthetics but for practicality. The Octa can now wade through water depths greater than any previous production Defender, up to 3.3 feet. Its wider stance and wheel arches, widened by 2.7 inches, give it a commanding presence on the road, complete with amber marker lights in the front and red ones in the rear. A striking appearance, indeed.

Land Rover Defender Octa

Photo: Land Rover

While the Defender Octa may not look drastically different from a standard model, there are enough subtle details to distinguish it as a special variant. These include a unique grille, carbon-fiber accents, quad exhaust tips, a revised bumper design, bronze highlights, a fresh logo, and durable underbody protection. For added flair, a snorkel option is also available.

In terms of suspension, Land Rover has enhanced the Octa with longer and more robust wishbones, along with a revised active damper setup. The Octa boasts Land Rover’s innovative 6D Dynamics suspension system, first introduced in the Range Rover Sport SV. According to Land Rover, this system, utilizing a network of hydraulically-interlinked continuously variable semi-active dampers, effectively reduces pitch and body roll on paved roads. Although I haven’t had the chance to drive the vehicle yet, a brief demonstration by a Land Rover representative showcased its impressive capabilities. Additionally, the Octa is equipped with Brembo brakes featuring 15.7-inch discs and six-piston calipers up front.

Land Rover Defender Octa

Photo: Land Rover

The Octa comes standard with the Comfort drive mode, but switching to Dynamic mode alters the truck’s on-road performance by adjusting steering, throttle, and suspension settings. Holding down the drive mode button longer activates Octa mode, a Baja-inspired blast mode designed to rival vehicles like Ford Raptors, Chevy Bisons, and Ram 1500 TRXs. Additionally, the Octa offers classic Land Rover off-road modes such as Sand, Mud and Ruts, Grass Gravel Snow, and Rock Crawl.

Available in unique colors like Petra Copper and Faroe Green exclusively for the Edition One, as well as other Defender hues like Carpathian Grey and “Charente Grey,” the Octa features a contrasting roof and gloss Narvik Black tailgate. Customers can further personalize their Octa with optional matte protective film from the factory. A touch of luxury indeed.