Take that, Ford Bronco!
The all-new Land Rover Defender is in high demand. Land Rover's supply chain, like that of several automakers, experienced pandemic-related disruptions that caused delivery delays. The situation is under better control now but Defender demand continues to be very high despite a new challenger arriving this past summer called the Ford Bronco. Although aimed primarily at the Jeep Wrangler, the Bronco has also been identified as a Defender rival by Land Rover. What to do? Go bold.
According to information received by Motor Trend, the two-door Defender, aka the Short Wheelbase (SWB), will receive a V8 engine in two different states of tune. One will be the top engine for the regular Defender SWB 90 lineup and the second is a more powerful version for the SVR-badged Defender SWB.
Now, we've recently seen spy shots of what's very likely a V8-engined Defender Long Wheel Base (LWB) prototype, but only now are we hearing the two-door Defender will also be receiving V8 power. At first thought you'd think giving the two-door SUV the same engine options as the four-door would be a no-brainer but, as always, it boils down to projected market demand.
Enter the Ford Bronco. The popularity of the two-door version is expected to be very strong and Land Rover has to respond. Also, the Bronco's most powerful available engine is the 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 310 horsepower. Land Rover will likely opt for its reliable 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with either 557 hp or 575 hp, the latter for the SVR.
Basically, the "base" Defender V8 will offer around 247 hp more than the Bronco. For SUV shoppers wanting a two-door with maximum horsepower, Land Rover's proposition is certainly tempting. Jeep could also respond with a Hemi 392-powered Wrangler, but it might be four-door only.
In other Defender news, MT also claims an inline-six version of the Ingenium engine is on its way, though likely not for the US. However, a plug-in hybrid Defender P400e with around 398 hp is expected on our shores in 2022.