Two-Door Land Rover Defender 90 Getting V8 Power

Off-Road / Comments

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.

2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Front View Driving Land Rover
2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Side View Driving Land Rover
2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Side Angle Driving Land Rover

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.

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2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Dashboard Land Rover
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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.

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2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Front View Land Rover
2020-2021 Land Rover Defender Front View Driving Land Rover
Source Credits: Motor Trend

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