That V8 sure sounds sweet.
Fast SUVs are all the rage now. Modern suspension and powertrain technology means some of them drive nearly as well as their smaller sports car siblings. Macan GTS, anyone? Plus, who doesn't love a big, fast car to eat up miles in? That's clearly the intent of the new Land Rover Defender SVX, the rumors about which began to circulate last summer. Recently, we spied the SVR/SVX (it's unclear which name will be used) testing at the Nurburgring.
Now, the big, fast off-road SUV is back at the famous Nordschleife and was seen testing with some German friends, letting us hear the Defender's new V8 engine in all its glory. What's more, it looks to have some seriously sporty handling.
Test drivers were seen driving the new V8 Defender at full tilt, hopping curbs and torturing tires. Based on the footage above, the newest hot Land Rover has some serious (and stiff) suspension at work. In one of the Nordschleife's tighter sections, body roll is almost nonexistent. Moreover, the start of the video shows the Defender up on three wheels, with the front left tire several inches off the ground. Despite this, the rest of the car looks in complete control.
We also see some kind of winged Porsche prototype, but that's a story for another time. The V8 in this new SVX/SVR trim sounds extra angry, but also very different from the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 we're used to. Our sources suggest it'll be powered by BMW M's twin-turbo S63 V8. Given its application in BMW models like the X5 M, that suggests at least 600 horsepower, if not more to account for the four-door Defender's considerable weight.
Aesthetically, things are unchanged from the last time we saw the new Defender out testing in the Green Hell. The new model's massive fender flares and aggressive quad-exit exhaust are still present, as is the rear-mounted spare tire. While the chunky wheels hide the brakes a fair deal, it's still pretty evident they're larger than the stock units, as is befitting of an SVR model from Jaguar Land Rover. Cars like the Jaguar F-Pace SVR benefit from upgraded brakes, and we see no reason this four-door V8 model won't too.
What remains a mystery is what badge this hi-po model will carry. SVR models are typically track-focused, while SVX badging indicates off-road focus. The Defender is an off-roader at heart, but this footage clearly proves it's not shy of doing track work. We're betting on SVX, although time will tell.