Land Rover Might Whip Up a Bronco Raptor-Fighting V8 Defender

That new V8 Defender might be just the beginning

land rover defender 90 v8
Land Rover

It was only last month that Land Rover announced the incipient arrival of a new V8-powered Defender. That new ride packs a supercharged 518-horsepower V8 and some fancy performance upgrades — but notably, it doesn't carry the "SV" badge that signifies a vehicle whipped up by Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations performance division. Now, a report suggests that might be for good reason: there may be an even more badass version of the V8 Defender coming.

Australian website CarSales recently asked Land Rover SVO head Michael van der Sande about faster versions of the Defender and other models. Van der Sane did not confirm any new product in the pipeline — but he did say that the company's "purchase of Bowler last year was very intentional."

Bowler, should you be unfamiliar, was a British carmaker specializing in producing off-road racing modified versions of Land Rovers, including the old-style Defender. It's not hard to connect the dots there and figure that one reason JLR would buy them would be for the expertise to build something like a Ford Raptor-style off-road racing version of the new Defender.

And a V8 Defender SV would probably be a relatively low lift for cost-conscious Jaguar Land Rover. The vehicle already uses a version of the D7 platform that underpins a substantial portion of the lineup; Land Rover already has a tuned-up 557 hp version of the supercharged 5.0-liter V8; and there's ample room to jack up the price and still undercut the Mercedes-AMG G63, which starts just above $156,000.

The appetite for outrageous off-roaders appears to be insatiable right now. Ram and Ford will soon have dueling 700-horsepower super trucks with prices nearing $100,000. The Wrangler is getting a Hemi V8. Ford has already teased what looks like a Baja-ready Bronco Raptor last fall. By the standards of our time, it would be weirder if Land Rover didn't have something along those lines planned for the Defender.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below