The new 2021 Land Rover Defender has been spied under further development at the Nurburgring, this time with a V8 engine under the bonnet.
The Defender 110 V8, in a high specification, has ‘prototype vehicle’ stickers on the front and back. Those inside are wearing protective gear, and are also protected additionally by an internal roll cage.
But most tellingly, there are twin exhaust pipes under the body, which feeds into a single central muffler. Hinting at some increased performance, the exhaust exits via four square outlets.
This comes hot on the heels of Jeep teasing a V8 in their own hero off-roader, with the 392 Concept.
The engine could be Jaguar Land Rover’s own 5.0-litre V8, which makes 416kW and 700Nm, helped along by an intercooled supercharger.
However, a supposed tie-up between Land Rover and BMW means the new V8 could be Bavarian. Also touted to be used in upcoming Range Rovers, this could be either a 4.0 or 4.4 litre V8, which will likely be turbocharged.
While the old Land Rover Defender wouldn’t have gained much from time at the notorious Green Hell, the new Defender was spied spending plenty of time honing its high speed credentials.
It also ties up with what Land Rover engineers have hinted for the Defender, saying that the new D7x platform is capable of handling a lot more engine than is currently offered.
The Defender will be launched with two variants of a two-litre turbo diesel engine, making either 177kW or 147kW and 430Nm. There will also be the option of a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder mild-hybrid petrol, which makes 294kW and 550Nm through a twin-scroll turbocharger and electric supercharger.
The introduction of a V8 would be a return to form for the Defender model, which had a 3.5-litre V8 under the bonnet in the 1980s and early 1990s (when it was called a One Ten).
However, back in those heady days of SU carburettors and pushrods, this V8 only mustered 93kW @ 4000rpm.