The new Land Rover Defender 110 has barely touched down in Australia, but work has already started on a V8-powered flagship.
Jaguar Land Rover celebrated its 70th birthday with a Works V8 version of previous-generation Defender, making 297kW and 515Nm. It was good for a 5.6-second sprint to 100km/h, and a 170km/h top speed.
The new Defender will serve as a far better base for a big, powerful V8 engine, hilarious though the classic box on wheels model was.
How do we know this is a V8? Our spy photographer points to the large exhaust muffler and quad pipes as one sign, housed in a rear bumper that’s been hacked apart to fit them.
There are two “PROTOTYPE VEHICLE” stickers on the car, so this isn’t a punter who’s decided to do some fiddling with the exhaust.
Although Land Rover has a 5.0-litre V8 in its parts bin, rumours circulating since the Defender’s launch have suggested the bent-eight off-roader will feature a variation of BMW’s turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 under the bonnet.
Used in everything from the M550i xDrive to the M8 Competition flagship, the engine puts out up to 460kW and 750Nm.
Even in its lower state of tune, with 390kW and 750Nm, the 4.4-litre V8 would put the Defender V8 in the same realm as the 430kW/850Nm Mercedes-AMG G63.