In its quest to conquer the lucrative African market, Land Rover has finally confirmed eight-cylinder power for its latest Defender, handing the reimagined off-roader its supercharged 5,0-litre V8 petrol engine.
The latest model, available in both short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 body styles, the eight-cylinder unit generates 386 kW and 625 N.m, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. With all that extra grunt, the Defender V8 will hit 100 km/h from standstill in a claimed 5,2 seconds (in short-wheelbase 90 form, that is), before topping out at 240 km/h.
The Land Rover lists a fuel consumption figure of 14,5 L/100 km and a corresponding CO2 emissions figure of 327 g/km.
The British firm says the supercharged engine has been paired with “expertly developed” suspension and transmission tuning (including bespoke spring and damper rates plus a new electronic active rear differential), creating the “fastest and most dynamically rewarding” Defender yet.
The V8-powered Defender furthermore gains a new “dynamic mode” in the terrain response system, which Land Rover says “helps drivers to exploit the more dynamic character and handling balance” on both tarmac and loose surfaces. Larger-diameter and solid anti-roll bars have also been adopted.
The newcomer features bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts and model-specific 22-inch alloy wheels in a Satin Dark Grey finish. It furthermore boasts Xenon Blue brake callipers on the front axle. There is a choice of three exterior colours; Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black, with first two featuring a Narvik Black roof.
Inside, the Defender V8 employs seats trimmed in Ebony Windsor Leather with Dinamica suedecloth and Robustec accents, while the exposed cross-car beam gains a Satin Black finish. The four-spoke steering wheel features an Alcantara rim and satin chrome paddles, while the illuminated treadplates each gain a “V8” script.
Land Rover has also introduced a new flagship Defender V8 Carpathian Edition as well as a fresh Defender XS Edition (the latter replacing the First Edition). In addition, the Defender range is set to become available with wireless smartphone charging, an optional (larger) 11,4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment touchscreen and broader personalisation options with fresh exterior packs.