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Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender

Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender Land Rover shows off V8-engined Defender
Land Rover Defender now comes with 525hp supercharged V8 engine.

Were you, perhaps, wondering just how we were going to drain off and burn the last few remaining reserves of oil and petro-chemicals? Well, Land Rover has the answer - it's only gone and fitted a V8 engine to the Defender.

Rewarding on the road

Not just any V8 engine either, but the mighty 525hp supercharged V8 from the Range Rover Sport SVR. Now, while we normally wouldn't condone such environment-bashing excess, the fact is that not many of these will be built, so the overall impact on the world will probably be quite low. Besides, who wouldn't want a Defender that can hit 100km/h in just over five seconds and has a top speed rivalling that of a BMW M-car?

David Hemming, Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The introduction of our V8 powertrain adds a new dimension of driving engagement and off-road capability to Defender. Fast and fun to drive, it represents the pinnacle of the Defender family and is as rewarding on the road as it is capable off it. We've also broadened the appeal of the entire Defender line-up with new derivatives, option packs and enhanced connectivity, so there really is a Defender for everyone."

The engine develops a fairly massive 625Nm of torque, and that's enough to shove the short-wheelbase Defender 90 V8 to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240km/h. Apparently the fuel economy works out at 14.5 litres per 100km (you don't say...) and it has CO2 emissions of 327g/km.

Tweaked chassis, sports exhaust

The chassis has been given an upgrade to help it cope with all the extra grunt, including beefier anti-roll bars, and a unique Electronic Active Rear Differential introduces a Yaw Controller. Interestingly, Land Rover says that the Yaw Controller "allows fine control of the Defender V8's cornering attitude as it reaches and exceeds the limit of grip." Powerslides in a Defender, anyone?

There are also stiffer suspension bushes, adjustable dampers, torque vectoring by braking, and a Dynamic mode added to the Terrain Response Control. On the outside, the V8 Defender gets bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish, plus groovy 'Xenon Blue' brake calipers. Oh, and there's even a sports exhaust, whose noise and loudness you can tune with the Terrain Response system.

Only three colours will be offered - Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black - and you can pair those with a Narvik Black roof. There's also Shadow Atlas exterior detailing.

Inside, there are Ebony Windsor leather seats, with Dinamica fake suede centres, and a special satin-black finish for the 'cross-beam' that runs across the dashboard. There's a grippy Alcantara suede rim for the steering wheel and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles.

Iain Gray, Senior Manager, Powertrain Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance - providing new levels of driver appeal. Our engineering focus has been to optimise powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road - all without compromising Defender's unstoppable all-terrain capability and wading ability."

Carpathian Edition and new XS model

But wait, there's more. As well as the V8 Defender, Land Rover is expanding the slightly more sane Defender range with the new Carpathian Edition. This comes in - surprise, surprise - Carpathian Grey, with a Narvik Black roof and bonnet, and even a contrast black tailgate door. Additional visual highlights include Satin Black towing eyes and distinctive Xenon Blue front brake calipers.

There's also a special protective film applied to that Carpathian Grey paint, which Land Rover says gives a 'semi-matte' finish, and which also helps protect against scratches, car-park dings and that bane of off-roading - 'bramble rash.' Inside, the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition features the same upgrades as the V8, with seats finished in Ebony Windsor leather with Dinamica suedecloth, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and illuminated treadplates.

As well as the Carpathian Edition, there's also a new Defender XS. This replaces the high-spec First Edition and comes with bespoke body-coloured lower cladding and lower wheel arches, and distinctive 20-inch, contrast Satin Grey with diamond-turned wheel. You can have four exterior colours - Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black. The XS comes with 12-way electric and heated seats, finished in Khaki Grained leather, while the dashboard cross-beam is painted with a light grey powder coat brushed finish.

XS standard specification includes Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Terrain Response. In addition, the XS Edition benefits from Matrix LED headlights with signature DRL, ClearSight interior Rear View camera technology and the state-of-the-art Pivi Pro infotainment system with an 11-speaker Meridian sound system.

Land Rover has also taken the opportunity to update the Defender's 'Pivi Pro' infotainment system, with a new, larger, 11.4-inch screen. That's 60 per cent larger than the original screen, and it now comes with a wireless phone charger and a signal booster for optimised network reception and Wi-Fi signal.

Finally, there's the option of new exterior design packs - a Bright Pack, which basically fires a chrome howitzer at the outside of your Defender, and an Extended Black Pack for X, X-Dynamic, and V8 models. That's basically the opposite of the chrome howitzer, and gives all of your Defender's exterior trim the full Spinal Tap 'none more black' treatment.



Published on February 25, 2021
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