2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 24, 2021
  • New supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine
  • Upgraded drivetrain, suspension, steering, brakes, and exhaust
  • Shades of white, gray, and black, with occasional pops of color and shine
  • Upgraded Pivi Pro infotainment with standard wireless smartphone charging and larger touchscreen display
  • Defender V8 sits atop both the 90 and 110 series lineups
  • Prices to be announced closer to Defender V8 release date

A V8 engine was always a part of the original Land Rover Defender’s go-anywhere attitude and do-anything character. Now, the 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 returns the rugged yet refined SUV to its roots with a significant infusion of power and performance. 

JDPA_2022 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 Black Front Quarter View

Land Rover offers the new V8 engine in both the Defender 90 and Defender 100 model series. It tops the lineup and comes with numerous engineering enhancements that help a driver to make the most of the power on the pavement. Land Rover also says the new V8 engine improves the Defender’s low-speed off-roading capabilities, especially when traveling over rocky terrain.

Additionally, the entire 2022 Land Rover Defender lineup sees a handful of changes, including a larger available touchscreen display for its Pivi Pro infotainment technology.

Exterior Features - Find the best Land Rover deals!

If you want a 2022 Defender V8, you’d better like Yulong White, Santorini Black, and Carpathian Gray paint. Those are the only colors, and the exclusive 22-inch aluminum wheels feature a dark satin gray finish. Blue brake calipers add a delightful pop of color to an otherwise stark black-and-white landscape.

2022 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Black Rear Quarter View

Interior Features - Find the best Land Rover deals!

The colorless treatment continues within the Defender V8’s cabin. Black Windsor premium leather with Miko suedecloth seat inserts, a black headliner, and satin-black finishes are standard for this new, more powerful version of Land Rover’s iconic SUV. Satin chrome shift paddles draw attention to themselves by virtue of their comparative shine, mounted to a steering wheel with a suedecloth-wrapped rim.

2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Interior Dashboard

Under the Hood - Find the best Land Rover deals!

The most significant thing about the 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 is its engine. The SUV gets the latest supercharged 5.0-liter V8, an 8-speed quick-shift automatic transmission, and several drivetrain, suspension, braking, and exhaust system upgrades.

Supplying 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, the supercharged V8 accelerates the Defender V8 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and provides a top speed of 149 mph. This newfound performance does not reduce the SUV’s off-roading capabilities, however. Land Rover claims it is even more adept when rock-crawling and can still traverse nearly three feet (35.4 inches) of standing water.

Drivetrain upgrades include a new Electronic Active Rear Differential (e-diff) with yaw control and a new Dynamic driving mode for the Terrain Response 2 traction and stability control system. Together, these allow the Defender V8’s driver to drift the SUV in nicely controlled arcs on and off the pavement.

Land Rover also gives the Defender V8 specific throttle and steering calibrations, adds larger 15-inch front brake discs, installs larger diameter solid anti-roll bars for the re-tuned active damping suspension, and bolts in a quad-pipe exhaust system.

Safety Systems - Find the best Land Rover deals!

Land Rover makes no changes to the 2022 Defender’s safety technologies. It continues to offer automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, a traffic sign recognition system, a driver monitoring system, a surround-view camera, and parking sensors. Choose the Defender 110, and the SUV also has a blind-spot warning with a rear cross-traffic warning. Adaptive cruise control is available.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Land Rover deals!

For 2022, Land Rover offers a new 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system across the Defender lineup. In addition to the larger, landscape-mounted display, the Pivi Pro infotainment system’s home screen is configurable to improve the overall user experience. Land Rover also makes wireless smartphone charging standard equipment for all 2022 Defender models.

2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Competitors - Find the best Land Rover deals!

Land Rover is not the only purveyor of high-performance, V8-powered, off-road-ready SUVs. 

On the low end of the scale, there is the new 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392, stuffed full with a 6.4-liter V8 making 470 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. On the high end of the scale, you’ve got the Mercedes-AMG G 63, thundering across West Los Angeles and along Miami Beach with its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 good for 577 hp and 627 lb.-ft.

There are, of course, other performance-tuned SUVs, but they’re best when used on the pavement rather than in the muck. That puts the new 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 among a rarified breed of SUV.

Land Rover is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of February 24, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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