Land Rover last year launched a Defender equipped with a V-8, but a more hardcore V-8 option is still in the works.
The latest Defender is expected to have at least two V-8 grades: the regular Defender V8 launched for the 2022 model year, plus a more capable version possibly wearing an SVX badge and targeting the likes of the Ford Bronco Raptor and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, but with a luxury twist.
Prototypes for the potential Defender SVX have been spotted, revealing a number of key details. The prototype features a titanium exhaust with quad tips, along with widened wheel arches, a raised suspension, mudflaps, and BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. The tires are wrapped around 20-inch wheels and measure 275/60 front and rear.
It isn’t clear what engine is under the hood. While the Defender V8 features Jaguar Land Rover’s supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, rated at 518 hp, it’s possible this Defender SVX is fitted with a version of BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that’s already made its way into the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The BMW V-8 is rated at 523 hp in those luxury SUVs but a higher output would be more suited to the hardcore Defender.
More information should become available as development continues. We currently expect the Defender SVX to arrive later this year as a 2024 model.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations came close to launching a Discovery SVX a few years back. It was going to be powered by a V-8 and fitted with off-road upgrades, and would have established a new off-roading range for SVO, similar to the division’s SVR track-focused range and SVAutobiography ultra-luxury range. While the Discovery SVX was ultimately canceled, Jaguar Land Rover never ruled out a future SVX vehicle.