In February this year, Land Rover introduced the Defender V8 with a 5.0-litre supercharged engine producing 518 bhp (386 kilowatts) and 461 pound-feet (625 Newton-metres) of torque. For now, it’s the most powerful production Defender in history but that could change if we are to believe a new report.
MotorTrend says the British company is now working on a hotter SVR model to sit above the Defender V8. Basically, it is going to be what the Mercedes-AMG G63 is to the Mercedes-Benz G500, or a full-blown performance street version. Yes, that might sound a little weird considering the Defender is an off-road legend and not a sports SUV but Land Rover wants to have a serious contender in the performance SUV segment and monetise on the strong demand in that segment.
Expected to be available for both the 90 and 110 versions, the Defender SVR’s highlight will be the V8 engine under the bonnet. As previously reported, the model will most likely get a version of BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 with an output of more than 600 bhp (447 kilowatts). Considering the non-SVR Defender V8 has a different engine, this means you’ll have the option to choose from two different V8 powertrains in a Defender.
Gallery: Land Rover Defender 110 V8
Due to arrive next spring, the Defender SVR will benefit from other performance improvements, including bigger brakes and stiffer suspension. The ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic will be recalibrated to deliver shorter shifts, and there should also be visual tweaks that will differentiate the SVR model from the lesser trims.
As a reminder, the Defender V8 starts at £98,575 for the 90, and the four-door 110 kicks off at £101,220 OTR. Expect the SVR to be quite a bit more.