2025 Defender Octa debuts as tough off-roader packing 626 hp

By automotive-mag.com 5 Min Read

The Defender is already one of the most credible vehicles over rough terrain, and now it can cross it with incredible pace, too.

JLR on Wednesday took the covers off the 2025 Defender Octa, a new performance flagship based on the Defender 110 and the first member in a potential Octa performance sub-brand. The name is a reference to certain diamond shapes in geometry known as octahedrons, and diamonds are the toughest naturally occurring substance on Earth.

But the Defender Octa has also been developed to be a tough cookie when it comes to on-road performance, helped by the advanced 6D Dynamics suspension that debuted on the 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.

The setup consists of a combination of hydraulically interlinked semi-active dampers, height-adjustable air springs, and pitch control, which according to JLR can keep the vehicle’s body at an almost level stance during hard cornering, or when traversing rough terrain thanks to the greater wheel articulation that can be delivered. The system eliminates the need for conventional anti-roll bars, the automaker said.

2025 Land Rover Defender Octa

The ride height was increased by 1.1 inches compared to the standard Defender, and the stance widened by 2.7 inches. These changes included the addition of revised suspension components including longer and tougher wishbones, as well as widened fenders to house it all.

One of the lead engineers of the project was Jamal Hameedi, who heads up JLR’s SVO division. Prior to joining JLR in 2018, Hameedi was chief engineer of Ford Performance (and its SVT predecessor), where he oversaw development of multiple generations of the Ford F-150 Raptor, as well as the first-generation Ranger Raptor which was limited to sales overseas.

Under the hood sits a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 and mild-hybrid system. The powertrain, sourced from BMW, is also shared with the Range Rover Sport SV and delivers a stout 626 hp, the highest rating ever used in a factory Defender. The power is routed to all four wheels via the Defender’s 8-speed automatic transmission with high and low range gears.

Owners can expect 0-60 mph acceleration in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph, when the vehicle is specified with 22-inch wheels and all-season tires. For serious off-roaders, there are 20-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Advanced All-Terrain tires developed specifically for the Defender Octa. JLR has also developed a special off-road launch mode that optimizes acceleration on loose surfaces. The mode can also be set up to deliver off-road ABS calibration to optimize braking on loose surfaces. Brembo brakes with rotors measuring 15.7 inches at the front have also been fitted.

2025 Land Rover Defender Octa

2025 Land Rover Defender Octa

For the interior, the vehicle can be specified with highly durable trim as an alternative to standard leather. Up front are sports seats with extra bolstering, and JLR also fits its Body and Soul Seat audio technology, which is a first for the Defender. The system uses transducers in the seats to enable occupants to “feel” their favorite music tracks. It also offers six wellness programs to help occupants get relaxed.

Order books are already open and JLR has confirmed a starting price of $153,475 for the U.S. market. A limited-edition Defender Octa Edition One will be also offered for the first year only, featuring a handful of special curated touches including an exclusive Faroe Green paint finish. It carries a starting price of $169,275. Both figures include a destination charge of $1,475.

The Defender Octa forms part of an updated 2025 Defender range. The updates include new packages that group many popular individual options. Among the new packs are some that enhance the driving qualities, others that improve capability in cold weather or when towing, and a few that increase comfort.

The Defender Octa will make its formal debut at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed running in the U.K. from July 11-14. Deliveries are expected to start later this year.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *