Land Rover drops a V8 into fastest, most powerful Defender ever
The Land Rover Defender V8 is back. We suppose if you count the myriad garages willing to stuff a GM small-block into a 25-plus-year-old Defender, it wasn't really missing in the first place. But the latest Defender V8 comes straight from the factory in both 90 and 110 body styles, wielding a 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Buyers looking to maximize on- and off-road power will enjoy over 100 extra horses over the turbocharged six-cylinder mild hybrid, making the all-new Defender V8 the fastest, most powerful Defender to come out of Coventry.
Land Rover already has a history of eight-cylinder Stage 1 and Defender models, so it was only a matter of time before it dropped the option on the New Defender. The 5.0-liter supercharged unit in question puts out 518 hp and 461 lb-ft (625 Nm) of torque, pushing the 2022 Defender 90 from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.9 seconds. Top speed comes at 149 mph (240 km/h).
The Defender V8 will be offered in both 90 and 110 body styles. Adjusted eight-speed automatic transmission settings, a tuned suspension with bespoke spring and damper rates, and a new electronic active rear differential will help Defender V8 drivers optimize power delivery, handling and control. A new Defender V8-specific Dynamic setting in the Terrain Response system enhances the ride on looser off-road surfaces, and large-diameter anti-roll bars cut body roll during cornering.
"The 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance," says Iain Gray, Jaguar Land Rover senior manager for powertrain engineering.“Our engineering focus has been to optimize powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road, all without compromising the Defender vehicle’s all-terrain capability and wading ability."
A variety of equipment and visual enhancements separate the Defender V8 from its lesser-engined brethren, including a distinctive quad-tip exhaust, 22-in alloy wheels, exterior badges and Xenon blue front brake calipers. The interior includes Ebony Windsor leather seat trim, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, satin black and satin chrome accents, and V8-badged illuminated tread plates.
Topping the new V8 hierarchy, and the Defender range itself, the V8 Carpathian Edition brings its own visual highlights, starting with an exclusive Carpathian Grey metallic paint job with contrast black roof, hood and tailgate. The exterior comes with a protective satin film that lends a semi-matte finish and protects against scratches ... whether they come in the mall parking lot or deep in the jungle. The Carpathian Edition also gets specially colored front and rear skid plates, unique badging and satin black tow eyes.
Beyond the big V8 addition, Land Rover delivers a few other updates to the 2022 Defender line, including a larger available 11.4-in screen for the Pivi Pro infotainment system, standard wireless device charging, a new XS Edition trim, and several newly available exterior aesthetics packs. It plans to release US 2022 Defender pricing information at a later date.
Source: Land Rover