We’ll make no secret of it — we can’t wait to take a spin in the 2020 Land Rover Defender.
The new Defender is a modern revival of Land Rover’s most iconic vehicle, but brings design and technology into this century. It houses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 400 horsepower 3.0-liter mild hybrid straight-six, but Land Rover didn’t mention a fire-breathing V8 in the new lineup. That, however, may soon change, as Auto Express reports there is a Defender SVR coming.
For those who don’t know, “SVR” is a tag Land Rover attaches to its fastest, most hardcore performance models. We’ve already seen the Jaguar F-Pace SVR and Range Rover Sport SVR, so it’s not too surprising to see a hot Defender. There are also hot versions of the F-Type and, eventually, the all-electric I-Pace. Is it completely appropriate to have an amped-up Defender? Well, let’s take a look at the Mercedes-AMG G63 as a case study.
Defender vs. G-Class
The sportier, more powerful Defender may hit showrooms in as little as 18 months, according to the Auto Express report. Word is a Land Rover Defender SVR will get a BMW-sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, rather than the supercharged 5.0-liter mill we’re used to now. The report says Jaguar Land Rover already has a working prototype lurking within their Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) skunkworks. Beyond the current top Defender’s 400 horsepower, the sky is the limit when it comes to how much power an SVR version will crank out.
Right now, BMW’s twin-turbo V8 manages a whopping 617 horsepower in the X5 M. However, the report suggests JLR may tone it down to about 500 horsepower. That sort of makes sense, but it is far less than the 575 horsepower of the Range Rover Sport or the 550 horsepower F-Pace. It’s also substantially less than the 577 horsepower Mercedes-AMG G63. Then again, maybe — just maybe — this Defender isn’t all about sheer grunt.
This is where the SVR argument breaks down for the Defender a bit. Because it’s a Defender. It’s meant to be this incredible off-road machine out of the box, not a pavement-crushing sports SUV. Maybe the Defender SVR will allow more of a compromise and dial it back with the power, massive wheels, and other garnish that would make it useless off-road.
Naturally, we’ll keep an eye on developments. You can bet we’ll test out a Land Rover Defender SVR if one ever comes to fruition in the next couple years. Stay tuned to TFLoffroad.com for more updates! Subscribe to the TFLoffroad YouTube channel for more news, views and real-world, powerhouse off-road SUV reviews. In the meantime, check out what Roman and Tommy think of the Mercedes-AMG G63 below: