Land Rover Classic Reveals Limited V8 ‘Islay Edition’ With Kilchoman Distillery
We know the island of Islay, for one thing, whisky. However, there’s another icon that’s called the island home since its name was conceived, Land Rover. And the recently unveiled Land Rover Classic Defender Works V8 Islay Edition is the first heritage-themed Works V8 to come from Land Rover Classic with a unique specification, incorporating elements of founder Spencer Wilks’ 1965 Land Rover Series IIa and one of our favourite whisky brands, Kilchoman.
The Works V8 Islay Edition will be limited to 30 examples with 17 available as a 90 short wheelbase and 13 available as a seven-seat 110 version. Prices start from £230,000 (AUD$435,000) for the 90 and £245,000 (AUD$463,000) for the 110 variant. The car will not be making its way to Australia.
Under the skin, Land Rover Classic installs a modern naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 powertrain with eight-speed ZF automatic transmission boasting 298kW (405PS) of power and 515Nm of torque. If you’ve ever had the chance to drive a classic Defender, you’ll understand that this is more than enough. Land Rover even offers an official 0-60mph time of 5.6 seconds, while its top speed is rated at 106mph.
Various suspension and brake pieces have been upgraded to deal with the extra power. Namely, the Defender Suspension Upgrade Kit is comprised of tuned suspension for greater on-road comfort consisting of revised coil spring rate and dampers. The Handling Upgrade Kit is also included, which provides uprated Works V8 specification brake discs, pads and calipers.
In a surprising turn of events, the interior of the Classic Land Rover becomes the highlight of the entire vehicle. Tweed materials in blue for the sea and the sky of Islay, purple to reference the local heather, and a subtle yellow chosen to reference the peaty grassy landscape. On the centre console, a removable tray, complete with leather tabs, features the oak of whisky barrels sourced from the island’s award-winning Kilchoman Distillery. One that has a personal connection to Spencer Wilks, whose granddaughter Kathy Wills established the distillery with her husband, Anthony, in 2005.
We’re genuinely shocked at just how far the two brands have gone in elevating the interior of the Defender. Each tray features a unique 110mm wooden disc replicating the end of a whisky barrel and is made from a specific piece of the wood that displays the authentic stencilled lettering.
The tray itself is made from American Walnut wood with dovetail joints, while the crafted surround showcases the distillery and Woollen Mill in the same stencilled font, like a genuine whisky barrel, including an official Land Rover 75th anniversary logo. The base of each cup holder is also made from the whisky barrel wood. Even the rear of the loadspace floor is finished in oak wood veneer, just like the full-size Range Rovers.
And while we can’t afford the vehicle – that starts at £230,000 (AUD$435,000) – we really want to get our hands on the ‘639’ limited edition whisky that’s also being produced in honour of the Defender Islay. Of course, if you buy the car, you get a bottle.