It looks like the new Land Rover Defender will spawn a V8 version as a Defender with a V8 is spotted out testing. But will it be a JLR or BMW V8?
The new Land Rover Defender finally arrived last year to continue the long Defender history in to the 21st century, and whether or not you’re impressed with it as a worthy successor to the iconic original, it does look set to be a success for JLR.
You can currently grab the Defender in two sizes – Defender 90 and Defender 110 – with a choice of regular Defender, First Edition Defender or Defender X, and a choice of P200 and P240 diesels, P300 petrol and P400 petrol (depending on which trim spec you choose). And prices starting at £4,330 and rising to £79,695, although you can spend more than £100k on a well-specced Defender X if you go heavy on the options.
But it looks like JLR are planning at least one Defender model to sit above the current offerings – and probably starting at £100k plus – with a V8 version in the making.
Doubtless aimed at buyers who might be tempted by a Mercedes G63, a V8 Defender has been spotted by Autocar wearing tell-tale quad exhaust setup only found on JLR’s V8s.
But, perhaps oddly, a DVLA check show the Defender in question is utilising JLR’s 5.0 litre V8, and engine about to go out of production as Ford’s engine plant in Bridgend, which builds the engine, shuts up shop later this year, rather than BMW’s 4.4 litre V8 which is expected to arrive in JLR’s vehicles as a replacement.
The speculation is that JLR could be stockpiling the 5.0 litre V8 to roll out a ‘Special’ V8 Defender model, although that seems a very short-sighted option. Perhaps more likely is that JLR are avoiding any sort of official confirmation of the BMW engines for now, and are using their own V8 to test the additional power and weight in the new Defender.
But whatever the reason is, it seems all but certain we will see a V8 Land Rover Defender before too long, sporting around 500bhp.