Those those who lauded the Land Rover Defender upon its relaunch after a nearly quarter-century hiatus in North America will love the 2022 model-year even more.
More specifically, we’re betting they’ll welcome the new Defender 110 and 90 V8. And that’s not just any old eight-pot, but Jaguar Land Rover’s own supercharged 5.0-liter V8, which sends 518-horepower and 461 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In the two-door 90, a sub-five-second zero-to-60 mph time and top speed of 149-mph top end make for the fastest and most powerful production Defender yet.
Accompanying the Defender V8s is a range-exclusive a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response system, which adjusts to help drivers balance the output on pavement and gravel. In the Terrain Response 2 setting, a sharper throttle response and a fine-tuned continuously variable damping system work with torque vectoring, traction and yaw controllers to improve drivability the Defender.
The Defender V8’s interior features seats trimmed in Ebony Windsor Leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents. An exposed cross bar beam gets an exclusive Satin Black finish, while the Alcantara four-spoke steering wheel is flanked by satin chrome paddles—also exclusive to the V8s. Illuminated treadplates with V8 script remind occupants of the principal powertrain.
The Defender V8s are already sit above a list seven other different trims that are powered by either a 3.0.-liter turbocharged straight-six or a 2.0-liter turbocharged straight-four, all of which get Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system. But there’s an ever more exclusive new flagship.
With the same supercharged V8, the highest-spec Carpathian Edition is finished exclusively in Carpathian Grey premium metallic paint that contrasts with a Narvik Black roof, hood and tailgate. More visual pop comes courtesy of satin black tow eyes, Carpathian Gloss front and rear skid plates, V8 Carpathian badging, and Xenon blue brake calipers.
Prices haven’t been announced, but expect the first Land Rover Defenders to hit dealers this summer.