Although Land Rover first began dropping V8s in its Defender platform in the early 1970s (with the Stage I), for the most part, they’ve all been a bit pedestrian in terms of their performance. Sure, the retro Works vehicles of late have been more than powerful enough to satisfy high-octane enthusiasts, but those were projects reborn after the original had been discontinued.
Well, the wait is finally over, because at long last, the Defender is getting the engine it deserves — and straight from the factory, no less. It comes in the form of a supercharged 5.0L V8 good for both 518hp and 461lb-ft of torque, a combination that’ll take the two-door 90 edition from 0-60mph in just 4.9s. In practice, this means that it’s the fastest, most powerful production Defender ever made. But this isn’t a mere powerplant upgrade — it’s a full-on performance overhaul. So, in addition to a reworked chassis and an eight-speed auto box, it also gets retuned springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, and even a standard active electronic rear differential. Available in both 90 and 110 flavors, the V8 Defender should be hitting showrooms later this summer. You can learn more at the link below.