- 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.
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.
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.
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.