2022 Land Rover Defender adds V-8 to powertrain portfolio

Ever since the modern Land Rover Defender’s reveal in 2019, fans have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of a V-8 option.

Well, we can confirm that Land Rover will finally deliver with the 2022 Defender which will offer up Jaguar Land Rover’s familiar 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 as the range-topping powertrain. Here, it will be rated at 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque.

Buyers seeking more performance may want to wait as the SVO division is rumored to be planning a more potent version of the V-8 for the Defender, possibly in an SVR-badged model, though Land Rover remains quiet on the matter.

2022 Land Rover Defender

2022 Land Rover Defender

The current V-8 still offers plenty of grunt and will be offered on both the two-door Defender 90 and four-door Defender 110. It will come hooked to an 8-speed automatic and should see the Defender deliver 0-60 mph acceleration in about five seconds and a top speed approaching 150 mph.

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Numerous chassis tweaks were also added to suit the extra grunt. The list includes stiffer anti-roll bars, unique spring and damper rates, as well an electronic active rear differential.

2022 Land Rover Defender

2022 Land Rover Defender

The Defender’s off-road driving mode selector known as Terrain Response has also been augmented with a special Dynamic mode exclusively for the V-8. It helps to optimize power delivery whether on a smooth or rough surface. It also improves throttle and steering response to deliver a sharper and more agile driving experience, and dials in the exhaust note for a spicier sound.

Apart from the noise it makes, it will be hard to tell the V-8 Defender from those with lesser engines. There will be some unique visual cues, though. The list includes quad-exhaust tips at the rear, model-specific 22-inch wheels, and 15-inch brake rotors with bright blue calipers.

Other powertrains offered on the 2022 Defender will include a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 296 hp and 295 lb-ft and a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 mild-hybrid setup with 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. Buyers outside the U.S. will also have the option of a plug-in hybrid setup that uses the 2.0-liter engine.

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The 2022 model year also sees the Defender receive Defender XS and Defender Carpathian editions. The latter gets its name from its exclusive Carpathian Gray paint finish (with a contrasting black roof) and will come exclusively with the V-8.

2022 Land Rover Defender

2022 Land Rover Defender

Other changes for 2022 will include an available 11.4-inch infotainment screen instead of the standard 10.0-inch unit, along with a standard wireless charging pad for mobile devices, over-the-air update capability, and a navigation system that optimizes route guidance using AI and real-time traffic updates.

The 2022 Defender will arrive at dealerships later in the year. Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch.

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