The hottest version of the Defender (formerly Land Rover Defender) off-roader has been spied testing at the Nurburgring ahead of its reveal later this year.

    The Defender OCTA will rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG G 63 and is claimed to be the toughest, most capable and yet most luxurious member of the Defender family.

    This particular prototype is wearing black-and-white camouflage though you can tell it has a wider stance, with larger wheel arch flares to accommodate the wider track and larger tyres.

    There’s also a different front fascia with additional openings to allow more air to be sucked into the engine bay.

    This isn’t the first time we’re seeing the forthcoming Defender OCTA. The company recently teased a few images of the flagship variant and detailed a few of its features.

    The Defender OCTA will be the most powerful member of the range and will feature a mild-hybrid twin-turbo V8 engine.

    While the brand hasn’t released any detailed specifications thus far, the twin-turbo V8 is certain to be a BMW mill.

    The Range Rover Sport SV already features a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 from BMW, pumping out 467kW of power and 750Nm of torque (800Nm on overboost) and incorporating a 48V mild-hybrid system.

    The BMW V8 gets the Range Rover Sport SV from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.

    It has quite a bit more grunt than the current flagship Defender engine, JLR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8, which produces up to 386kW and 625Nm.

    Defender promised the OCTA will have “outstanding all-terrain performance” thanks to a hydraulic interlinked 6D Dynamic air suspension setup with pitch and roll control.

    This system is claimed to keep the vehicle at a near-level stance during acceleration, braking and cornering on-road, while also maximising independent wheel travel and articulation off-road.

    JLR (formerly Jaguar Land Rover) recently spun Defender into its own brand in move to shift the company’s focus away from its two historic marques, Jaguar and Land Rover.

    The British carmaker is instead moving towards a new “House of Brands” approach which will see it launch vehicles under the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery, and Jaguar brands.

    Click the images for the full gallery

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    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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