Off-road-focused SUVs with iconic nameplates are in abundant supply at the moment, with the Ford Bronco joining the already-available Land Rover Defender and Jeep Wrangler in the coming months. But one thing the 2021 Ford Bronco doesn’t have that the Wrangler Rubicon 392 and now the Land Rover Defender V8 have is, well, available V8 power.
The Land Rover Defender V8 was just revealed, and it’s exactly what one might think it is – a V8-powered version of the Defender. More specifically, Jaguar Land Rover’s supercharged 5.0L V8 that also sees duty in the Jaguar F-Type R and Range Rover SVR. However, it has been detuned just a tad to produce a still-healthy 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque.
The V8 will be available in both the two-door 90 and four-door 110 versions of the Defender. Backed up by an eight-speed automatic and sending power to all four wheels, Land Rover says the shorter Defender V8 will do 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 149 miles-per-hour.
To accommodate that extra power, Land Rover gave the Defender V8 new spring and damper tuning, as well as larger anti-roll bars. It also comes standard with an active electronic rear differential, which is optional on other Defender models. Other notable changes include a retuned yaw controller to improve handling and a new Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response system that stiffens the suspension and sharpens throttle response.
The Land Rover Defender V8 looks slightly different than its lesser-powered brethren as well, thanks to V8 badging, a quad-tip exhaust, and standard 22-inch wheels, though 20-inch wheels are optional. Defender V8 buyers can choose from the Urban or Country accessory packs, a special Carpathian Edition, and one of three exterior colors – Carpathian Gray, Yulong White, and Santorini Black.
Inside, the Defender V8 touts a few updates, including unique black leather seats with suede inserts, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, chrome paddle shifters, and illuminated “Defender V8” door sills.
Pricing for the new Defender V8 has not yet been announced, but it should ring in a bit more expensive than the already-pricey Wrangler Rubicon 392 at around $80,000.