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 reaches dealerships this summer and 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.
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.
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.
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.
2022 Land Rover Defender
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.
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
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 range starts at $49,050 for a Defender 90 with the 2.0-liter mill. The cheapest V-8 is a Defender 90 V8 which starts at $98,550. Opt for a four-door Defender 110 V8 and you'll need to pay at least $101,750. All figures include destination In comparison, the Jeep Wrangler's new V-8 option starts at $74,995.
For more on the Land Rover Defender, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.