2022 Land Rover Defender Blessed with a 518-HP Supercharged V-8

Connor Hoffman
·3 min read
Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

From Car and Driver

  • The 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 is out this spring, and it comes with a 518-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

  • The V-8 engine will be available in both two-door Defender 90 and four-door Defender 110 models, and with it, the two-door will reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, Land Rover says.

  • Defender V8s have a specially tuned suspension, quad exhaust tips, 22-inch wheels with blue front calipers, and an Alcantara steering wheel with chrome paddle shifters.

We're in a seemingly golden age of powerful off-road vehicles. There's a 702-hp Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX. Ford is debuting a higher-performance F-150 Raptor R next year that's expected to have more than 700 horsepower. The Jeep Wrangler now has a 470-hp V-8-powered Rubicon 392 model. And the Hummer is back as a 1000-hp off-road-focused electric pickup on 35-inch tires. It's only getting better, because the Land Rover Defender, now in its third model year in the U.S., is adding a supercharged V-8 model.

Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover's supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 makes up to 575 horsepower in the Land Rover Range Rover SVR and the Jaguar F-Type R. In the 2022 Land Rover Defender, it'll spit out 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque—the same output as the Range Rover Sport Autobiography. The blown V-8 will be available in both two-door 90 and four-door 110 models, and it's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with four-wheel drive. Land Rover says the two-door will hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 149 mph. The Defender's standard engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 3.0-liter inline-six is also available. In our previous test of the 3.0-liter Defender 110 SE, the sprint to 60 mph required 6.3 seconds.

Land Rover specifically tuned the Defender V8's spring and damper rates and equipped larger anti-roll bars to account for the bigger engine. The active electronic rear differential that is optional on other Defenders is standard on the V-8 model, and a retuned yaw controller increases cornering performance. A new Dynamic mode in the Defender V8's Terrain Response drive mode system stiffens the suspension and sharpens the throttle response.

Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

Passersby will know a supercharged V-8 is under the hood by the rumble resonating from the Defender V8's quad-tip exhaust, but there's also V8 badging on the front fender and tailgate to alert them. Defender V8s ride on standard 22-inch wheels with blue front brake calipers and 15-inch rotors, although 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires are optional—and the better choice.

Only the Urban and Country accessory packs are available on the Defender V8. Sadly, the overlanding-focused Adventure and Explorer packs, which add such features as a roof rack, snorkel, and cargo box, are absent from the options. Three color choices are available: Carpathian Gray, Yulong White, and Santorini Black. There's also a special Carpathian Edition that's finished in the gray paint with a black roof and tailgate, "V8 Carpathian Edition" badging, and black trim pieces, and everything is finished in Land Rover's satin protective film.

Photo credit: Land Rover
Photo credit: Land Rover

The Defender V8's interior has unique black leather seats with suede inserts and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel with chrome paddle shifters. Its illuminated door sills are also adorned with Defender V8 script. All 2022 Defenders introduce the option of a new, even larger curved 11.4-inch touchscreen (pictured above), and wireless charging is standard on all models. A 10.0-inch screen remains standard.

We expect that the 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 will start around $85,000 for the two-door 90 and around $90,000 for the four-door 110 model.

You Might Also Like