The new Land Rover Defender SVR, which will feature a BMW 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, is expected to rival the Mercedes-AMG G 63 with roughly 500bhp. The new model is being developed at the automaker’s engineering base in Gaydon, Warwickshire under the watchful eye of JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division. The Defender SVR will follow the Range Rover Sport SVR and Range Rover SV-Autobiography cars.

The BMW V8, which will be featured across the JLR product portfolio, will also be integrated into the Jaguar F-Type, Range Rover, and Range Rover Sport models. The twin-turbo engine, which delivers up to 616bhp in BMW’s own X5 M SUV and M8 coupé, will produce around 500bhp in the Defender SVR enabling it to compete with the Mercedes-AMG G 63. The Defender SVR will be four-wheel drive and include an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

The Defender is built on an all-new aluminum platform that will make tuning the chassis much easier for the performance model. The range-topping SVR will also include standard air suspension, which will likely result in a £100,000-plus sticker price. The new Terrain Response 2 system may feature a track mode as well as the standard model’s off-road power.

The new Defender is a showstopper with large 22-inch alloy wheels, extended wheel arches and redesigned front and rear bumpers with expanded air intakes. Meanwhile, the three-door Defender 90, expected to be launched in the middle of 2020, may only include V8 power in the 110 five-door car since most high-performance SUV competitors are five-door cars.

The interior of the new Defender will feature leather sports seats as well as Land Rover’s 10-inch Pivo Pro infotainment system, 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a head-up display, and Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View to display objects in front of the car.

“From a technology point of view, we say we’ve future-proofed it, so it’s got all the things from a technology point of view that will keep it going for a long time,” Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern said at the launch of the Defender in September.

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The Defender SVR should be available towards the end of 2021. However, McGovern added, “Because of [the Defender’s] product orientation it gives us the ability to do more versions, and I think that’s the way we’ll go with it.”

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