V8-powered Land Rovers were available back in the ’70s and the company is at it again, offering a V8-powered, 518 hp Defender this spring, ready to jump all over Jeep’s Rubicon 392 and its paltry 470 hp (just kidding! — both horsepower numbers are stout!).
Jaguar Land Rover’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 makes up to 575 hp in the likes of the Jag F-Type R and Range Rover SVR, while the 518 hp (461 lb ft) in the Defender is the same as the Range Rover Sport Autobiography. Not too shabby. In the Defender it’s mated to an eight-speed trans and as mentioned, is going to be offered in both the 90 and 110. Lesser Defenders come with a turbo four standard and an optional 3.0-liter straight six.
It wouldn’t be a Defender if it wasn’t crazy good off road, so Land Rover says it tuned the Defender V8’s suspension to best match the bigger engine, including retuned yaw control for better cornering on loose surfaces, as well as making the active electronic rear differential — optional on other Defenders — standard on the V8. Land Rover engineers also added a new Dynamic mode in the V8’s Terrain Response drive mode system to stiffen the suspension and speed throttle response.
How will you know you’re looking at the V8 model? Besides V8 badges on the front fenders and tailgate, there is of course the V8’s bark. Also the beast has 22-inch or 20-inch wheels available.
Unique black leather seats with suede inserts and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters also differentiate the V8. A Carpathian Edition with gray paint and a black roof and some badges, all finished in Land Rover’s satin protective film, is also available.
Expect the price to start around $85,000 for the 90 and $90,000 for the 110, ready to take on that pesky (and $10 grand cheaper) Wrangler.
Log in to the comments and tell us if you’re up for the new V8 Defender.
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