Land Rover's Islay Edition celebrates the brand's 75th anniversary
Land Rover has unveiled the ultimate version of the original Defender with the Islay Edition, created by the firm's Classic division. The special edition is based on the Classic Defender Works V8 and is inspired by the 1965 Series IIa owned by one of the founders of Land Rover, Spencer Wilks, who tested early prototypes on the Isle of Islay, Scotland. The Islay Edition also marks Land Rover's 75th anniversary.
The Islay Edition has a 5.0-litre, V8 petrol engine that produces 400bhp and 515Nm of torque, allowing it to reach 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 106mph. Donor vehicles are used to create the special edition, but each car is comprehensively restored, re-engineered, and upgraded. The models are restricted to those built from 2012 to 2016.
Despite its unassuming exterior, the Islay Edition has heavy-duty steel wheels, improved LED headlights, a special Limestone paint finish, and a side graphic of ‘GXC 639C’, a reference to Wilks' Series IIa registration. The cabin features Windsor Ebony leather seats, side trims, roof lining, and dashboard, with the center console and dash finished in Heritage Grey, matching the exterior.
The Islay Edition also receives uprated suspension with revised coil springs and dampers and an improved braking system to cope with the extra power. The interior features a tweed design created by the Islay Woollen Mill, and oak sourced from Kilchoman whiskey distillery barrels used for the central stowage space and the base of each cup holder.
The Islay Edition is available in 90 and 110 body styles, with the short wheelbase starting from £230,000 and the 110 from £245,000. Only 30 models will be made, with 17 for the 90 model and 13 for the 110. The Islay Edition pays homage to the Defender's history and Scotland, making it the ultimate version of the original Defender.
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