Your Move, Jeep: 2022 Land Rover Defender Gets Supercharged V-8 to Take on Wrangler Rubicon 392

In our review of the latest Land Rover Defender, we called out its powerful engines as strong and quick — but wait, there’s more! For 2022, the rugged SUV is adding a supercharged V-8 to its powertrain lineup, along with a larger dashboard touchscreen that’s newly available. 

Related: 2020 Land Rover Defender Review: Tough Luxe

Land Rover says the Defender’s new supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 makes it the fastest and most powerful production Defender in the brand’s history. It’s good for 518 horsepower, a claimed 0-60-mph sprint in less than five seconds and a top speed well into triple-digit territory. That puts the Defender V8, as it’s called, squarely into Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 territory:

2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Vs. 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

2022 Land Rover Defender V8

  • Supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine
  • 518 hp, 461 pounds-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
  • Manufacturer-estimated 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds
  • 149-mph top speed

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

  • Naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V-8 engine
  • 470 hp, 470 pounds-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
  • Manufacturer-estimated 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
  • 99-mph top speed

Engine, Transmission and Suspension

The Defender’s new engine joins two others. The standard engine is a 296-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder, but there’s also the optional 395-hp, mild-hybrid inline-six-cylinder that’s both turbocharged and supercharged. Of note, the six-cylinder lineup is tweaked slightly for 2022, as the XS Edition replaces the outgoing First Edition and adds minor exterior and interior touches; it slots in below the Defender X.

Aside from the extra horses, Land Rover says the new V-8 model has an upgraded suspension, specific transmission tuning and a new active rear differential. It also gets a more robust Terrain Response system. 

Exterior

Outside, the Defender V8 distinguishes itself in the lineup with quad tailpipes, specific 22-inch alloy wheels, Xenon Blue front brake calipers and plenty of badges. Exterior color choices include Carpathian Grey and Yulong White, each with a contrasting roof in Narvik Black, or Santorini Black.

At the top end of the lineup is the Defender V8 Carpathian Edition, which though identical to the Defender V8 both mechanically and in the interior, is decked out exclusively in Carpathian Grey and contrast Narvik Black on the roof, hood and tailgate. Trim-specific badging and Carpathian Gloss paint on the skid pans and grille bar also feature.

Interior

Interior upgrades include Ebony Windsor leather seats with Miko suede and Robustec accents, a four-spoke Alcantara steering wheel with satin-chrome paddles, illuminated tread plates and … more badges. Also, V-8 models get Satin Black contrast trim across upper and lower sections of the dashboard.

Also of note is a larger optional multimedia screen. The current model uses a 10-inch display, but an 11.4-inch touchscreen becomes available for 2022. Also, wireless device charging is now standard.

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Price and Release Date

The two V-8 trims will be available on the two-door Defender 90 and four-door Defender 110. No word yet on when the models will go on sale or how much they’ll cost, but Land Rover slots the Defender V8 and V8 Carpathian Edition above the X, the highest six-cylinder trim, in the SUV’s trim ladder. The X starts at $81,850 with destination for the 2021 model year; it’s a safe bet the 2022 Defender V8 will exceed that.

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