Automotive

Published on February 25th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Land Rover Shoves A Supercharged V8 Into The Defender

The most recent Defender facelift sees Land Rover shoehorning in its signature supercharged V8 under its hood. 

First launched just over a year ago, Land Rover has recently announced that it had a few minor updates already lined up for the new Defender. Adding a few new exterior and interior aesthetic packs, some tech updates, and perhaps the most exciting news of all — stuffing a great big V8 its hood. 

In fact, this is not just any V8, but JLR’s signature 5.0 litre supercharged V8 that is to be found in the Jaguar Project 8 and Range Rover Sport SVR. Outputting a not-too-shabby 525 PS and 625 Nm of torque that is then sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission, this particular Defender is astoundingly able to complete the century sprint in a hot hatch-rivalling 5.2 seconds, and barrel its way all the way to a top speed of 240 km/h (149 mph)

Thankfully however, Land Rover didn’t just shoehorn that massive engine into the Defender V8 and called it a day. Instead, the British automaker had also sensibly made some tweaks to its suspension and brakes to cope with the extra speed and power down a windy road. 

Speaking of the former, this new V8 Defender gains larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars, along with bespoke suspension and damper tuning to help this (rounded) box-on-wheels tackle corners as flatly as possible. Additionally, a new Electronic Active Rear Differential and yaw control, not to mention some additional tuning on the Dynamic program of its Terrain Response 2 system, supposedly gives this particular Land Rover ‘a more agile, playful and responsive character’. Just what you want in a high-riding SUV that weighs over two-tonnes. 

As for the brakes, the Defender V8’s custom 22-inch alloy wheels are brought to a halt courtesy of equally-massive 20-inch disks that are clamped onto by Xenon Blue brake calipers. Other exterior touches that set this particular Land Rover apart from the rest of its model range include bespoke badging, and the quad exhaust tips poking out the back. 

On the subject of what is unique to the V8 variant, the Alcantara-trimmed four-spoke steering wheel with satin chrome gearshift paddles, black leather/suede combination upholstery and its illuminated V8-badged sill plates are among the interior features that are to be found solely on this particular model. Handily, the new curved-glass Pivi Pro central infotainment touchscreen and wireless charging pad is to be available across the mildly updated Defender range, as is yet more exterior personalisation packs to further customise one’s Land Rover. 

Continuing on the topic of the Defender range, aside from introducing this Defender V8, Land Rover has also added a new V8 Carpathian Edition to the lineup, which in essence is just a two-tone grey-black variant that comes wrapped in Land Rover’s Satin Protective Film. A new XS trim level has also been added to replace the First Edition run of cars. 

Now going back to the Defender V8, they will be available in both three-door 90 and five-door 110 guises. Prices for these Land Rovers in the UK will start from an almost Range Rover Sport SVR-esque £98,505 (RM 563,000) for the 90 and £101,150 (RM 578,000) for the 110. Seeing as the regular Defender has yet to make it to our shores too, don’t expect this particular variant to arrive here in any official capacity any time soon. 



 

PRESS RELEASE: Land Rover has launched the powerful Defender V8 as part of a range of enhancements to its unstoppable and award-winning 4×4 family. The new 525PS Defender V8 and flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition provide a unique combination of performance and capability, with bespoke chassis settings delivering new levels of driver engagement and agility both on and off-road. 

The powerful new models build on decades of Land Rover V8 heritage – spanning the original Stage I V8 of the Seventies, North American Specification models of the Nineties and powerful Defender Works V8 – as the characterful engine joins the latest range of efficient Ingenium petrol, diesel and advanced Plug-in Hybrid Land Rover powertrains.

The V8 petrol engine isn’t the only introduction. There’s also a new XS Edition, fresh exterior design packs that provide greater personalisation potential and an optional larger 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen.

Defender V8 builds on the rugged 4×4’s class-leading capability, delivering new levels of performance and driver engagement by combining a powerful 525PS 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine with expertly developed suspension and transmission tuning to create the fastest and most dynamically rewarding Defender yet. 

The exclusive new Carpathian Edition is based on the Defender V8 and represents the ultimate expression of Defender design, performance and capability, while a new XS Edition replaces the hugely successful First Edition and combines bespoke design and specification enhancements inside and out.

Defender’s personalisation potential has also been expanded with the introduction of new exterior packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack feature bespoke exterior trim to enhance Defender’s unmistakable silhouette.

Heightened connectivity is also part of the updates. Defender’s state-of-the-art Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment is now available with a range of desirable new features, including the option of a larger 11.4-inch touchscreen display. Wireless device charging with integrated signal booster is now fitted as standard with the Comfort and Convenience Pack for improved convenience and call quality.

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.”

New Defender V8 

New Defender V8 is the ultimate expression of Land Rover’s toughest 4×4 and recalls the rich heritage of eight-cylinder Land Rovers dating back to the 1970s. The potent new V8 supercharged engine is available in both 90 and 110 body designs and delivers elevated performance and driver engagement without compromising Defender’s unstoppable capability.

With unique suspension and transmission tuning, including bespoke spring and damper rates and a new Electronic Active Rear Differential, it delivers more agile and engaging handling with heightened body control – all accompanied by a characteristic V8 soundtrack.

Power comes from Land Rover’s 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, which produces 525PS, 625Nm of torque and drives through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Defender V8 90 accelerates from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds) with a top speed of 149mph (240km/h) and delivers fuel consumption of up to 19.5mpg (14.5l/100km) with CO2 emissions from 327g/km.

Exceptional off-road capability is a Defender hallmark and the V8 adds a new layer of driver appeal, with the introduction of a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response system – only available on V8-powered Defenders. It helps drivers to exploit the more dynamic character and handling balance of the 525PS model on tarmac and loose surfaces. Engineered to be the fastest and most engaging production Defender ever, it delivers unrivalled agility and driver appeal.

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.”

Larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars help reduce body roll in extreme cornering, while the unique Electronic Active Rear Differential introduces a Yaw Controller that allows fine control of the Defender V8’s cornering attitude as it reaches and exceeds the limit of grip. 

Careful calibration of the new Dynamic program in Terrain Response 2, gives Defender V8 a more agile, playful and responsive character. In this setting, a sharper throttle response and bespoke tuning for the Continuously Variable Damping combine with the stiffer suspension bushes for immediate steering responses. Working in harmony with the Torque Vectoring by Braking technology, Traction Control Systems and new Yaw Controller, the Defender V8 is faster, more engaging and more controllable than ever. 

Instantly recognisable, the Defender V8 features a number of unique exterior enhancements; bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts with distinctive tailpipes and unique 22-inch alloy wheels with a Satin Dark Grey finish combine to set the most powerful model in the line-up apart. The Defender V8 is further identified by its Xenon Blue brake calipers and 20-inch brake discs.

Careful acoustic tuning of Defender V8’s induction and exhaust systems provides a purposeful and authentic sound. Calibrated to suit every driving situation, this evocative soundtrack can be enhanced by selecting Dynamic program in the Terrain Response system.

Customers have a choice of three colours – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black – Carpathian Grey and Yulong White with a contrast roof in Narvik Black. Shadow Atlas exterior detailing completes New Defender V8’s distinctive exterior finish.

Inside, Defender V8 features seats trimmed in unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a unique Ebony tag, while the Defender’s exposed Cross Car Beam has a special Satin Black finish. The four-spoke steering wheel is enhanced by an Alcantara rim and tactile satin chrome gearshift paddles, which are unique to V8 models. Leather covers the airbag housing and gear lever, while illuminated treadplates are completed with a V8 script.

Defender V8 Carpathian Edition

The exclusive new Defender V8 Carpathian Edition is the ultimate expression of performance, durability and design, and represents the very pinnacle of the Defender range. Finished exclusively in Carpathian Grey, it is distinguished by a Narvik Black contrast roof, bonnet and, for the first time on New Defender, taildoor. Additional visual highlights include bespoke V8 Carpathian Edition badging finishes, Satin Black towing eyes and distinctive Xenon Blue brake calipers.

The unique exterior is finished with Land Rover’s Satin Protective Film. The recyclable PU-based wrap is applied to external bodywork giving the 4×4 a contemporary semi-matte finish that also protects against everything from car park scratches to off-road bramble rash.

Inside, the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition features the same upgrades as the V8, with seats finished in Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and illuminated treadplates.

Defender XS Edition

The new XS Edition replaces the hugely successful First Edition. Positioned above the SE models, it features a unique exterior and interior treatment and is available in both 90 and 110 body designs.

Externally, the XS Edition is identified by its bespoke body-coloured lower cladding and lower wheel arches, and distinctive 20-inch, contrast diamond-turned alloy wheels finished in Satin Grey. A choice of four exterior colour options is available: Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black.

Inside, the XS Edition’s 12-way, heated and electric memory seats are finished in Grained Leather, while the Cross Car Beam has a Light Grey powder coat brushed finish. Illuminated metal treadplates complete the interior.

Comprehensive 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 Rear View mirror technology and the state-of-the-art Pivi Pro infotainment system with 10-speaker Meridian sound system.

The XS Edition is available with a choice of powerful and efficient powertrains, including the P400 petrol, P400e Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and D250 Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) diesel.

Pivi Pro upgrade

New for 2022 model year, Defender is available with wireless device charging, which features a signal booster for optimised network reception and Wi-Fi signal.  

Connectivity is also enhanced by the latest evolution of Pivi Pro infotainment, available with an optional larger 11.4-inch touchscreen for the first time. The new curved glass interface is 60 per cent larger than the standard screen, making it even easier to follow navigation route guidance. The fast and intuitive Pivi Pro system provides immediate responses, even when starting the vehicle for the first time. 

A simple menu structure allows the most commonly used functions to be accessed directly from the home screen to reduce driver distraction. The system can be easily customised to suit the preferences of individual customers. Additional app ‘panels’ can be added, moved and removed, while swiping left or right of the screen quickly reveals the most relevant information at a glance, ensuring the driver’s concentration stays on the road.    

The advanced navigation uses self-learning algorithms and dynamic guidance to optimise routing, while Smart Voice Guidance knows to cancel audio instructions in familiar surroundings. Navigation mapping is always up-to-date thanks to Defender’s Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology. 

Intelligent learning allows the navigation system to identify routes customers use regularly, even without inputting a destination, and use this information to inform drivers of the fastest route to their likely destination based on current traffic conditions. If a faster route becomes available, Pivi Pro will propose this as an alternative.

Greater personalisation with new Exterior Packs

Customers can now choose from three new exterior design packs. The Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack further extend the personalisation potential of New Defender. 

Available on all Defender models, the Bright Pack features a Noble Chrome finish for the front and rear skid plates, plus a Noble Chrome Grille bar and badging. The Extended Bright Pack, adds Ceres Silver to the lower body cladding and wheel arches.

Defender X, Defender X-Dynamic and Defender V8 customers can select the new Extended Black Pack. It provides a Gloss Black finish for the front and rear skid plates, grille bar, bonnet chequer finisher, badging, lower body cladding and wheel arches for a stealthy and purposeful appearance.

Prices for the New Defender V8 start at £98,505 for the 90 and £101,150 OTR for the 110 in the UK. 

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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