Automotive

Land Rover drops a V8 into fastest, most powerful Defender ever

Land Rover drops a V8 into fas...
Land Rover adds a V8 option to the Defender engine lineup
Land Rover adds a V8 option to the Defender engine lineup
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The new Defender V8 races a predecessor through the forest
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The new Defender V8 races a predecessor through the forest
The new Defender 90 V8 poses with Defender V8 models of the past
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The new Defender 90 V8 poses with Defender V8 models of the past
The range-topping V8 Carpathian Edition isn't afraid to get filthy
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The range-topping V8 Carpathian Edition isn't afraid to get filthy
A year on from launching the new Defender, Land Rover adds the new V8 model
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A year on from launching the new Defender, Land Rover adds the new V8 model
The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 puts out up to 518 hp and 461 lb-ft
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The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 puts out up to 518 hp and 461 lb-ft
Land Rover Defender 110 V8
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Land Rover Defender 110 V8
The Carpathian Edition will be the new range-topper of Defender models
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The Carpathian Edition will be the new range-topper of Defender models
The V8 will be an option for both 2020 Defender 90 and 110 models
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The V8 will be an option for both 2020 Defender 90 and 110 models
Land Rover Defender 90 V8
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Land Rover Defender 90 V8
Land Rover debuts the new Defender V8 along with other model year updates
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Land Rover debuts the new Defender V8 along with other model year updates
New settings and adjustments ensure that drivers are able to put all the V8 power to efficient use, on and off road
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New settings and adjustments ensure that drivers are able to put all the V8 power to efficient use, on and off road
The Defender 90 benefits the most from the V8, offering a 4.9-second 0-60 and 149-mph top speed
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The Defender 90 benefits the most from the V8, offering a 4.9-second 0-60 and 149-mph top speed
The Defender V8 has its own quad-tip exhaust look
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The Defender V8 has its own quad-tip exhaust look
Blue front brake calipers help distinguish Defender V8 from non-V8 Defenders
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Blue front brake calipers help distinguish Defender V8 from non-V8 Defenders
A peek under the Defender V8 hood
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A peek under the Defender V8 hood
The Defender V8 includes special seat trim, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and other highlights
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The Defender V8 includes special seat trim, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and other highlights
Interior upgrades include an available 11.4-in touchscreen that grows over the 10-in touchscreen currently available
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Interior upgrades include an available 11.4-in touchscreen that grows over the 10-in touchscreen currently available
A new Dynamic program for the Terrain Response system calibrates vehicle settings specially for the V8 model
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A new Dynamic program for the Terrain Response system calibrates vehicle settings specially for the V8 model
Land Rover adds a V8 option to the Defender engine lineup
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Land Rover adds a V8 option to the Defender engine lineup
View gallery - 19 images

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.

New settings and adjustments ensure that drivers are able to put all the V8 power to efficient use, on and off road
New settings and adjustments ensure that drivers are able to put all the V8 power to efficient use, on and off road

"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."

Blue front brake calipers help distinguish Defender V8 from non-V8 Defenders
Blue front brake calipers help distinguish Defender V8 from non-V8 Defenders

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.

The range-topping V8 Carpathian Edition isn't afraid to get filthy
The range-topping V8 Carpathian Edition isn't afraid to get filthy

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

View gallery - 19 images
5 comments
5 comments
guzmanchinky
I'm sure this thing is fast and high quality. The number of reports out there of reliability issues would make me very wary of buying one. And if you are a true off road user then the Wrangler with the Hemi V8 will certainly do just about everything better, except for some refinement...
vince
Who cares? Drop me a lind when they drop a 2,000 electric motor into them that would be awesome. Stop with ICE junk New Atlas. There is nothing newsy about old ICE technologies.
cjeam
22inch alloys are entirely useless for any sort of serious off-road tyres, but ideal for the great wilds of Chelsea, Manhattan and Pacific Heights.
PR
Land Rover was smart to drop a V8 into the Defender. It will be pricey, but should make for more sales in the USA. Probably going to be pushing near $80K fully loaded ... ouch.
János Simon
Another gas guzzler for the Emirates.