Land Rover Is Now Offering Upgrade Kits for Classic Defenders

Think you have to buy the 2020 Defender to get better performance? Think again.

Land Rover Defender Upgrade Kits
Didn't get your hands on a 70th Anniversary Defender Works V8? Upgrade your classic model with new kits.
Land Rover
By Alex Lauer / August 3, 2019 7:00 am

One of the reasons Land Rover is overhauling the legendary Defender for the new 2020 model, which will have its world premiere later this year, is because it was outdated. While a certain segment of people worship the boxy Brit, it just didn’t match the capability, convenience and safety of other mass-market SUVs. But the company isn’t exclusively focusing on upgrades for new models.

This week, Land Rover Classic announced it will now sell upgrade kits for 90 and 110 Defenders built between 1994 and 2016, the first of their kind from the heritage arm of the brand. The enhancements cover everything from suspension to engine power to the wheels. 

Why would Land Rover even put time into this endeavor for old vehicles, especially with all hands on deck for the 2020 Defender? Three words: Defender Works V8. There was so much demand for the special-edition 70th anniversary vehicle that Land Rover decided to offer similar upgrades to loyal Defender drivers. 

“Extending the range of fully engineered, tested and approved upgrades offered by Land Rover Classic underlines our commitment to supporting existing Defender owners, as we look forward to the new Defender’s world premiere later this year,” says Head of Land Rover Classic Calum McKechnie.

What do these kits look like? There are four available, one focusing on suspension, one on handling and one just for the 18-inch Sawtooth wheels featured on the Defender Works V8 70th Edition. The final is called the “Defender Classic Works Upgrade Kit” and includes engine upgrades, anti-roll bars, Sawtooth wheels, upgraded coil springs and dampers, and much more. 

The big caveat here, as The Drive points out and Defender diehards will know, is that the ‘94 to ‘16 model year requirement “excludes pretty much any Defender that potentially exists on U.S. soil since they stopped selling here officially in 1997.” And the Classic Works Upgrade Kit is exclusively available at the brand’s facilities in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, England and Essen, Germany. But as they say, when there’s a will (and a Defender involved), there’s a way. 

For more information or to register your interest, head to Land Rover Classic here.

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