Admittedly, the Defender is not a vehicle designed for drag races. In all its versions through the years, Land Rover’s toughest off-roader has always had the single mission to go to places where no other SUVs can go. Yet the team at Carwow decided it would be fun to drag race three different Defenders with very different philosophies under the bonnet.
This is indeed a very weird drag race. There are three cars with different powertrains, but based on the horsepower figure alone, all three can perform. There’s a stock new Defender V8, a Defender with a Tesla electric powertrain, and a highly modified Defender with an engine swap. Let’s see the numbers first.
Gallery: 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition
Starting with the only stock example in this race, the new Defender V8 has a 5.0-litre supercharged engine under the bonnet generating a peak output of 525 bhp (386 kilowatts) and 461 pound-feet (625 Newton-metres) of torque. Surprisingly, it’s the heaviest of the trio with a weight of 2,471 kilograms (5,448 pounds). It’s also the most powerful Defender in this drag race.
Against it, the Tesla-powered Defender relies on an electric powertrain with 500 bhp (368 kW) and 498 lb-ft (675 Nm) of instant twist. Of course, it weighs a lot due to the large batteries in the floor, though it’s nowhere near the new Defender V8 at 1,930 kg (4,255 lbs).
Last but not least, there’s another V8-powered Defender, though it doesn’t have a Land Rover-sourced engine. Instead, the so-called Arkonik Defender uses the engine of a Chevrolet Corvette LS3, which means there’s a 6.2-litre V8 under the bonnet sending 436 bhp (321 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) to all four wheels. It’s the lightest of the three contenders at 1,860 kg (4,100 lbs).
Believe it or not, this is actually a very exciting race. Even the host of the show, Mat Watson, admits this is one of the greatest drag races he’s ever had. We are not going to spoil the results, but we’ll just mention that you are probably going to be very surprised by the results.