Yes, although it may look like any ordinary 2020 Land Rover Defender, this test vehicle actually has a 5.0-liter V8 under the hood. How could we know? Well the spy photographer and his team that provided these photos ran the plates and discovered the car is registered as having such an engine.
There’s also a very small exterior detail that reveals this Defender doesn’t have either the
turbo four-cylinder or six-cylinder. At the back, there are dual exhaust outlets with a quartet of tips. The recently released Defender with the other engine options has a solitary outlet on the left side. Not only that, but the muffler the tips are attached to is shaped differently compared to other Defenders.
Adding a V8 shouldn’t be particularly difficult. The Defender shares a large selection of components with the much larger Range Rover. It even shares its new straight-six with the big SUV. And going down this Range Rover parts bin line of thinking, it could get one of the model’s V8s. The base one makes a whopping 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. The upgraded one makes 557 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The base one would seem more than adequate for the relatively small Defender, but hey, in a world of 700-horsepower Jeeps, why not go big?
When we might see the V8 Defender is very much an open question. We would expect at least a year away, since the company is working on getting the first Defenders out the door. And with delays from the coronavirus crisis, it could take even longer.