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A V8 Land Rover Defender is reportedly on the way

When the last-generation Land Rover Defender left us a few years ago, it went out with a bang, a special edition model featuring a thundering V8. We thought we’d never see the Defender again, but we were wrong, and now we’re seeing the return of the V8 engine as well.

According to Autocar, an undisguised Defender has been prowling around Jaguar Land Rover’s research facility wearing ‘Prototype Vehicle’ stickers, usually reserved for testing mules. The only changes visible are a quad exhaust system, which JLR usually reserves for V8-powered vehicles.

The rumours of a V8 Land Rover have been circulating for a while, and all Land Rover can say is “We are unable to comment on the specific nature of these [technology development] programmes.”

Sources close to the matter have confirmed the project’s existence however, and Autocar has secured registration data for a V8 Land Rover. The engine is a 5.0-litre AJV8, the same one used in the Range Rover Sport SVR and the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography. However, the AJV8 is likely just a placeholder for the production engine, as it’s due to end production at the end of the year.

For the production version, JLR will tap its alliance with BMW, and use its twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 for the new vehicle. The engine is capable of providing the horsepower to compete with Land Rover’s alleged benchmark, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

As for the price, the V8 Defender could sell for more than £100,000 ($175,000 here) as the top spec-Defender already tops £75,000 ($131,000). The vehicle will likely make its debut in late 2021.

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