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Land Rover Defender to get a 500 HP V8 engine?

Written by Nizam Shaikh

A couple of months ago, Land Rover launched the 2020 Land Rover Defender SUV in India available in two body styles the classic three-door ‘90’ and the more practical five-door ‘110’. Both the Defender 90 and Defender 110 in India comes powered by only one engine configuration – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. 

But according to a media report, Land Rover is likely to evaluate a new range-topping V-8 cylinder engine for the Defender. Unconfirmed sources also suggest that a test mule of the V8 powered Land Rover Defender has been spotted testing in the UK with quad tailpipes that leads us to believe that the brand might be planning to bring the rugged SUV with a larger displacement engine. 

The V8 powered test mule is speculated of having a 5.0-litre V-8 cylinder engine under the hood that powers the Range Rover Velar SV Autobiography and the Range Rover Sport SVR, but the ‘AJ’ engine is going to see the end of production soon and it is further hypothesized that the brand might use the 4.4-litre TwinTurbo V8 sourced from BMW, which might also power the V8 Defender. Though there are no official reports on the 4.4-litre V8 engine as of yet, the brand is likely to be testing the V8 Defender with the 5.0-litre engine to test its off-road abilities and driving dynamics as well as tuning the suspension for the extra weight on the larger powertrain.

Sources further claim that the engine is not being developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) division but by the Defender engineering operation team and is likely to produce around 500 Hp of power. The engine is likely to come mated to an 8-speed automatic unit from ZF to transmit its power to the ground.

The current Defender sold in India comes with a P300 2.0-litre 4-cylinder TwinTurbo petrol engine that produces 300 PS of power and 400 Nm of torque mated to an automatic transmission with an All-Wheel-Driveline on both the Defender 90 and Defender 110. 

The new Land Rover Defender in India is priced starting at INR 69.99 lakh ex-showroom and comes to the country via the CBU (Completely Built-Up) route.