JLR’s high-performance Defender OCTA will be unveiled on July 3, and the wild off-road SUV has been confirmed for Australia – but only in limited numbers initially.

    The Defender – previously known as the Land Rover Defender – is in line for significant upgrades with the OCTA, which has been confirmed to feature a twin-turbo V8 engine, an advanced air suspension system, knobbly off-road tyres and large Brembo brakes.

    Defender Australia says there will be fewer than 100 examples of the OCTA bound for local showrooms in the first year of production, though it hasn’t been confirmed how many years the SUV will be built for.

    The brand has confirmed it’s undertaking a rigorous test program for the Defender OCTA, which has included tackling the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Dubai desert, and off-road trails in Moab, Utah – usually the home of heavily modified Jeeps.

    It’s expected the Defender OCTA will be powered by an engine similar to the BMW-built 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 in the Range Rover Sport SV, which can produce up to 467kW of power and 800Nm of torque on overboost – significantly more than the 386kW and 625Nm outputs of the Defender’s existing JLR-sourced supercharged 5.0-litre V8.

    We can also anticipate a higher price than the Defender 110 P525 V8, which is priced from $224,970 before on-road costs in Australia.

    The Mercedes-AMG G 63, arguably the most direct rival for the new OCTA, is priced at $363,561 before on-roads.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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