The latest version of the Land Rover Defender V8 has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring. We’ve seen hardcore off-roaders around the ‘Ring before via spy photos, but this is the first to be captured on video, courtesy of YouTube Motor.TV. Even better, the would-be top-spec Defender is pushed hard on the flying lap.
Despite sporting a bit of camouflage, the hotter Defender V8 prototype is seen with more aggressive design elements that hint at a more powerful engine. It’s based on the Defender 110 V8, so it has quad exhaust tips peeking out the back.
However, it looks like the prototype rises higher than usual, plus has bigger wheels and wider wheel arches with extensions. It’s expected to have a wider track as well.
All of this suggests a more capable off-roader off-road, as well as outstanding performance on the pavement, which was the goal of the hotter Defender V8 project. JLR hasn’t named the model yet, but it’s rumored no just bring SV or SVX. However, it is expected to go head-to-head with the Mercedes-AMG G63 after its launch.
A few weeks after the launch of the Land Rover Defender V8 in 2021, an executive from JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division has hinted at a hardcore version of the supercharged eight-pot SUV. Michael van der Sande says the JLR is “slightly under-represented in off-road performance,” meaning that the more hardcore Defender will have more upgrades than just added power.
All of this led to Land Rover’s purchase of the Bowler in 2019. As van der Sande has previously said: “Our purchase of the Bowler last year was very intentional.”
At this point, nothing concrete is known about the hardcore V8 Defender, especially with its greasy bits. We expect Land Rover to shed some light on the hot SUV in the months to come, so we’ll keep an eye out.