Land Rover Defender gains a 5.0-litre, 525hp V8 engine, new top-spec XS Edition joins the range

Land Rover has widened the Land Rover Defender line-up globally with the unveiling of the Land Rover Defender V8. Along with the top-tier engine option, the First Edition has been replaced with the XS Edition while a flagship Carpathian Edition has also been added to the line-up.

Powering the Defender V8 is Jaguar Land Rover's familiar 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine which makes 525 hp and 625 Nm. The Defender 90 equipped with this engine can do 0 to 100 kph in 5.2 seconds and reach a 240 kph top speed, making it the fastest road-going Defender yet. Other mechanical enhancements to go with the more powerful engine are unique spring and damper settings and the addition of an active rear differential with a yaw controller. The terrain response system also comes with a Dynamic mode with this engine option while thicker anti-roll bars have also been added.

The 5.0-litre V8 engine will be available with both 90 and 110 body styles of the Land Rover Defender. Image: Land Rover

Exterior enhancement to differentiate the Defender V8 from lesser models consist of unique exterior badging, quad exhausts, 22-inch alloy wheels finished in satin dark grey, xenon blue brake callipers and uprated 20-inch disc brakes. A specially tuned exhaust note is activated in the Dynamic mode too. Three exterior colour options can be had with the V8 - Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black. The first two options can be had with a contrasting black roof while all colours get shadow black exterior enhancements. Inside, the V8 variant features a leather interior with suede and Robustec accents while the distinctive beam across the dash carries a satin black finish. The steering wheel is now done up in Alcantara while there are chrome paddle shifters and illuminated V8 treadplates.

At the top of the Defender V8 range is the Carpathian edition. This comes finished in the Carpathian Grey paint option with Narvik Black contrast roof, bonnet and boot. A PU-based protective film gives this paint scheme a matte look while there is V8 Carpathian Edition badging and Satin Black tow hooks.

Replacing the earlier First Edition in the entire Defender line-up is the XS Edition. This variant features body-coloured cladding in the lower half of the SUV and is fitted with a special set of 20-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. The colour options here are Silicon Silver, Hakuba Silver, Gondwana Stone and Santorini Black. The interiors are done up in grained leather with the beam finished in light grey powder coating, illuminated treadplates have also been added.

Feature highlights on this version are 12-way powered and heated front seats, air suspension, adaptive dynamics, terrain response, matrix LED headlights ClearSight rear-view camera and a 10-speaker Meridian audio system. Along with these versions, two new design pack which add extra chrome or more dark elements have been made available across the Defender line-up. Another notable feature addition is that of the new 11.4-inch curved screen Pivi Pro infotainment system as an option, as seen on the facelifted Jaguar F-Pace.

The Land Rover Defender V8 has gone on sale in the UK priced at GBP 98,505 onwards. Expect to see this version come to India later this year with Jaguar Land Rover having already confirmed that the India-spec Defender will get additional engine options over time.



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