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The 2025 Land Rover Defender Octa Is Rugged, Fast and Ferocious

2025 land rover defender octa
The 2025 Land Rover Defender Octa Goes Hard JLR

The re-birth of the legendary Land Rover Defender in 2019 felt like one of those seminal moments in an automaker's history; an iconic silhouette brought back with modern powertrains and luxury amenities was (and remains) a thoroughly appealing idea. Still, the folks at Land Rover haven't been content to sit on their hands, instead whipping up one variant after another for the Defender wing. Now, for 2024, they've kicked it up a notch with the newly revealed Land Rover Defender Octa — and the first-year-only Defender Octa Edition One.

Named after the geometry of a diamond, the Defender Octa is Land Rover's hero model and the flagship model for the Defender brand. It's also the fastest Defender yet, sporting a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 sourced from BMW that makes 626 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque and is capable of accelerating the nearly three-ton SUV from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Better yet, up to 590 lb-ft of torque is available for short bursts when using Dynamic Launch Mode, with peak torque arriving as low as 1,800 rpm and continuing all the way up to 6,000 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission with high and low-range gearing is standard.

2025 land rover defender octa
JLR

Underneath the Defender Octa, Land Rover has fitted its highest-caliber off-road and on-road capable suspension components yet. Borrowing and adapting the hydraulically interlinked 6D Dynamics suspension technology from the Range Rover Sport, the Defender Octa features active pitch and roll control, as well as longer and tougher wishbones up front. It also sits 1.1 inches higher and has a 2.7-inch widened stance versus a regular Defender, to allow for better ground clearance on trails and improved stability on the road. Braking will be handled by a set of six-piston Brembo calipers clamping down on 15.7-inch rotors up front, all wrapped in a set of 20-inch wheels on the Edition One or 22-inch ones on the standard Octa.

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Land Rover says it put the Defender through its paces in 13,960 additional tests beyond its normal routine, ranging from Nurburgring laps to extreme heat off-roading runs — and that its engineers are sure of the model's reliability. The 6D Dynamic suspension can sense what surface it is on and adjust stiffness accordingly, though the presence of a true off-road mode should cover most surfaces with ease.

2025 land rover defender octa
JLR

Press the "OCTA" button and a combination of dynamic stability control, off-road-calibrated ABS, and damper tuning will allow for the ideal amount of grip and slip for almost any circumstance. And if you really get stuck, Sand, Mud and Ruts, Grass Gravel Snow, and Rock Crawl modes are also available, building on top of the separate Comfort and Dynamic drive modes.

The Defender Octa isn't just mechanically capable; changes to its bodywork and look help keep the diamond of Land Rover's lineup on the trail, too. Wider, more rugged fender flares are present for the first time, protecting the wider track underneath, and are joined by improved approach and departure angles as well as aluminum shielding underneath the front axle. 33-inch Goodyear Advanced All-Terrain tires are standard fare for the Defender Octa.

2025 land rover defender octa
JLR

Beyond being wider and taller, the Defender Octa features two new colors to the Defender lineup: Faroe Green (an exclusive to the Edition One) and Petra Copper. All Defender Octa models feature a contrast roof and tailgate in gloss Narvik Black, though customers can opt for an optional matte protective film. For those true water warriors, Land Rover is also offering a twin-raised, carbon fiber air intake that mounts up the A-pillar.

Inside the Defender Octa Edition One, a new Ultrafabric is available, made of 3D-knit textile and offered in duo-tone Khaki and Ebony. The standard Defender Octa will feature Burnt Sienna semi-aniline leather, with Kvadrat textile trim in Ebony, though any Defender Octa can be customized with Ultrafabrics in a Light Cloud and Lunar colorway. Other changes include a set of bolstered performance seats up front with Body and Soul Seat audio technology, a first-time option on a Defender vehicle that Land Rover says means Octa passengers will feel the music as much as they hear it.

2025 land rover defender octa
JLR

All of these enhancements come with a cost, though. Base model Defender Octa models will start at $153,475 while Defender Octa Edition One models will start at $169,275. Set for a public debut at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Land Rover is set to show off its on-road speed on the 1.16-mile hill climb — likely in an effort to convince buyers its versatility is worth its price.

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