The Wrong 2021 Land Rover Defender Is Getting a V8 Under the Hood

Since the unveiling of the 2021 Land Rover Defender, critics and purists alike have complained of its lack of a V8 under the hood. In a bit of a surprising move, the British carmaker has decided to give the off-roading SUV a V8 for a limited-run. Unfortunately, it’s not the Defender you’re thinking of.

According to Land Rover Classic, 25 new variants of the second-gen Defender will arrive with a 5.0-liter engine under the hood. Thankfully, you get a wide variety of off-roading goodies as well.

Which 2021 Land Rover Defender is getting a V8?

An image of a Land Rover Defender Trophy V8 off-roading.
Land Rover Defender Works V8 Trophy | Land Rover

This brand-new 2021 Land Rover Defender marks the subtle revival of the second-generation model. Rarely do we see two generations of a very popular model selling alongside one another. However, Land Rover has a good reason to give its off-roading SUV a last hoorah.

Under the hood of this 2021, Land Rover Defender lives a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 developing just under 400 hp. Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Additionally, you get upgraded brakes and a handling kit. As a result, this might be one of the most capable second-gen Defenders ever made.

In terms of off-roading goodies, this 2021 Land Rover Defender gets a front winch, a multi-point expedition cage, roof rack, underbody protection, and a raised air intake. Additionally, you get off-roading tires and spotlights.

However, this Defender is still set to be a fancy place to be. Land Rover will reportedly fit these new models with black Windsor leather trim and Recaro sport seats.

Just 25 units will be produced

An image of a Land Rover Defender Trophy V8 off-roading.
Land Rover Defender Works V8 Trophy | Land Rover

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There would be two main hurdles if you were hoping to score one of these 2021 Land Rover Defender V8 models. The first is that only 25 examples of this off-roading SUV will be built. Additionally, you’ll miss out if you live in the U.S. market since it won’t cross the pond.

This 2021 Land Rover Defender is available in both 90 and 110 body styles. However, the only exterior color is Eastnor Yellow, paying tribute to 1989 Camel Trophy-winning Defender.

As you’d expect from an ultra-exclusive SUV, it certainly isn’t cheap. According to Land Rover, the base 90 model starts at £195,000 or $270,092 in the UK. However, expect that price to increase for the larger 110 models.

Will the current-gen SUV also get a V8?

An image of a Land Rover Defender off-roading through some mud.
2021 Land Rover Defender | Land Rover

If you are a fan of the 2021 Land Rover Defender, there is still hope for a V8-powered variant in the U.S. In December of last year, Motor1 spotted a prototype of the current-gen model with what is rumored to be a V8 under the hood.

However, this V8 won’t be Land Rover’s 5.0-liter engine. According to Motor1, rumors suggest that the off-roader will utilize BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 instead. Power is expected to surpass 400 hp. Unfortunately, there is no mention of which transmission option this SUV might use.

Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to see this rumored V8-powered model. According to Motor1, rumors suggest that the powerful powertrain will debut in the 110 models before eventually reaching the smaller 90. A debut could happen as early as mid-2021. From there, it could hit the roads relatively quickly.