Defender Ditches Supercharger for OCTA High-Performance Hero

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

In case you’ve missed it, the Land Rover brand recently split into three, distinct sub-brands. Land Rover of course is one of the three brands, as is Range Rover. The third sub-brand is Defender, making the iconic nameplate a model-line all to its own.

The problem is, there really is only one model in Defender’s lineup. Sure, it can be had in three sizes, the 90, 110, and 130, and there is a choice of engines and features. But to really be a brand, there needs to be more options.

The New Halo Hero

That brings us to the Defender OCTA. The brand claims it will be a new high-performance hero in 2024. The OCTA is set to be Defender’s toughest, most capable, and luxurious model offered yet. Defender states it will be new territory for the label, which has us wondering how closely the OCTA might tread on Range Rover models.

The goal is to elevate every aspect of the Defender, including looks, performance, comfort, and of course luxury. How much the OCTA will differ from the 90, 110, and 130 is unknown at this time, but we do know one big change.

New Power, New Technology

Under the hood the OCTA ditches the supercharged V8. Instead, it will feature a twin-turbocharged V8 engine coupled to a mild-hybrid system. Although no official word has been disclosed yet, we figure that means the Defender is getting a version of the BMW-sourced 4.4-liter turbo V8 that some Range Rovers now utilize.

Another new feature on the vehicle is 6D Dynamics. It’s a hydraulic interlinked technology designed to better control pitch and roll under various scenarios like acceleration, braking and cornering. The main goal is to keep the vehicle as level and flat as possible. The system is designed for both on- and off-road.

What is an OCTA?

OCTA may seem like an odd name to choose for a vehicle, but Defender states it’s based off a diamond’s octahedron shape. The brand chose a diamond as reference since it’s considered the hardest naturally occurring substance on earth, yet is still very luxurious.

Of course, a special model needs sufficient levels of badging inside and out to remind everyone just how exclusive it is. These include a gloss black diamond within a machined and sandblasted titanium disc on each signature graphic panel, and what appears to be red glowing badges on the seats.

To ensure the OCTA achieves the manufacturer’s lofty goals, Defender let us know it has been testing it on everything. Surfaces like mountain rocks, snow, desert sand, and even the famous Nürburgring racetrack.

The OTCA will be revealed and go on sale later in the year. It is possible to reserve one now though, if you’re so inclined, through a local Defender dealership.

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Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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