The Land Rover Defender is an absolute legend and every off-road enthusiast worth his penny will swear by it. Land Rover claims that it is by far the toughest vehicle they have created and going by the company’s standards, the Defender is surely one tough nut. So what happens when you swap a fire-breathing V8 in a Land Rover Defender? Absolute mayhem and a dirt-fest! We have seen many examples of a modified Defender with a V8 under the hood but now, Land Rover has rolled out a production-spec version of the Defender V8.
The Land Rover Defender V8 is available in both three-door (90) and five-door (110) versions. According to the company, it is the most powerful Defender ever to hit series production!
This new engine is a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 motor, which pumps out 525 PS and 625 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively. There’s only one transmission on offer, a 5-speed automatic gearbox, which sends power to all four wheels. The same engine is also found in the performance-focused models including the Range Rover Sport and Jaguar F-Type and is now produced in-house by JLR. As far as performance goes, the V8 Defender will hit 100kph from rest in just 5.2sec and top out at 240kph in short-wheelbase, three-door 90 guise.
The changes aren’t just limited to the powertrain as the Defender V8 also gets chassis tweaks with the aim of delivering “unrivalled agility and driver appeal”, alongside the improved straight-line pace. In addition to the off-road driving modes offered by the standard Defender’s Terrain Response system, the V8 version gains a new Dynamic setting, which sharpens throttle response and firms up the continuously variable dampers for a more “playful” dynamic character, both on and off the road. Land Rover has also tuned the suspension system and added larger anti-roll bars, to reduce body roll. Electronic Active Rear Differential is now a standard fitment and sports a new Yaw controller for improved cornering stability.
Exterior and interior changes
To let the crowd know that it is no regular Defender, it also gets a few cosmetic tweaks here and there. Other features exclusive to the V8-powered Defender are quad exhausts, massive 22-inch alloy wheels with Satin Grey finish, brake callipers with Xenon Blue finish, and a few ‘V8’ badges on the body. There are only three exterior colour options available here – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White, and Santorini Black.
The interior of the Defender V8 gets Ebony Windsor leather upholstery, along with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents.
In India, the SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with ZF eight-speed automatic, producing 292 bhp of max power and 400 Nm of peak torque. A 3.0-litre hybrid engine is expected here at a later date but the diesel engine available in other markets is unlikely. We also wish that Land Rover introduces the Defender V8 here as well.