Land Rover has announced a third new model to its Defender lineup for 2022—the highly anticipated Defender V8.
Announced on the U.K. market and scheduled to arrive in North America this summer, this new model will be offered Defender V8 90 or 110 (in two or four-door form) and also as a top of the range V8 Carpathian Edition.
The pinnacle of the Defender family
According to David Hemming, Chief Product Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover, “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 of it.”
For Land Rover enthusiasts, the addition of a V8 engine to the lineup is welcome news and provides a new performance option for the redesigned Defender.
The V8 engine has a long association with Land Rover, being first introduced as the Rover 3.5-litre all-aluminum engine in the Series III Stage 1, first seen in 1977.
In the new Defender, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 delivers a potent 518 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque. It also delivers a melodious exhaust note, as engineers played with induction and exhaust tuning to get it “just right.” This is an important consideration since Land Rover V8 buyers traditionally purchase their vehicles as much for the sound they make as the performance.
In fact, so important was the sound aspect of the new Defender V8, that the exhaust note has been calibrated to suit every driving situation and can be enhanced by selecting the Dynamic program on the Defender’s Terrain Response system.
Alongside the new engine, the Defender V8 also gets revised chassis tuning, with specifically calibrated Continuously Variable Damping combined with stiffer suspension bushings.
The result is quicker steering and directional response, assisted by the vehicle’s Torque Vectoring by Braking technology, Traction Control Systems and the new Yaw Controller.
On the outside, the Defender V8 sports unique upgrades including special bespoke exterior emblems, quad exhaust and special 22-inch alloy wheels finished a Dark Satin Grey.
The Defender also sports massive 20-inch brakes with Xenon Blue finished callipers.
In the U.K. at least, 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. The Shadow Atlas exterior finish gives the Defender V8 a distinctive look.
Inside, the Defender V8 gets special seats trimmed in a unique Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, each finished with a special 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.
The top-of-the-line Defender V8 Carpathian Edition features special Carpathian Grey exterior paint with a contrasting Narvik Black roof, tailgate and hood. It also sports special exterior emblems, the Xenon Blue brake calipers and Satin Black finished towing eyes.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the Carpathian Edition also features a satin sheen to the exterior finish. That is because it sports Land Rover’s Satin Protective Film. This recyclable PU-based wrap is designed to protect the bodywork from everything, including rock and stone chips, as well as scratches from branches when negotiating off-road trails.
Inside, the Carpathian edition boasts interior appointments that closely mirror the Defender V8 with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accented seats; Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and illuminated treadplates.