Land Rover’s iconic Defender returned after a three-year absence last month - and it appears a hot SVR version is already in the works.
According to Auto Express, development is well under way for a sporty model equipped with a twin-turbo V8 engine and aggressive looks that transform the Defender from a go-anywhere off-roader to a track-honed weapon.
It won’t just look sporty, either. In July, spy photographers snapped the five-door 110 version being hurled around the 12.9-mile Nurburgring circuit in Germany, while a development model shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July appeared to feature a V8 engine.
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Fans won’t have long to wait for the SVR, as Auto Express claims the souped-up Defender could arrive in showrooms “within the next 18 months”.
In the meantime, here are all the details on the sporty off-roader:
Land Rover’s SVR models typically carry a considerable premium. The Range Rover Sport SVR, for instance, costs around £40,000 more than the cheapest model in the line-up.
With the new Defender carrying a price tag of £43,370 in short-wheelbase 90 form, expect the SVR variant to enter at around the £80,000 mark.
Earlier this year, Jalopnik posted a video allegedly showing an SVR development mule being put through its paces around the Nurburgring.
While it’s difficult to see the car’s design, given the sheer amount of camouflage covering the body panels, it appears to sit lower than the production model and sports a twin-exhaust system at the back.
However, Auto Express has released renderings of the rumoured performance SUV, giving fans an idea of what it may look like underneath the camouflage.
If the renderings are accurate, the Defender SVR will come with 22in alloys and extended wheel arches. The front and rear bumpers are also set to undergo a sporty makeover, complete with larger intakes and a metal skid plate at the rear.
Details about the SVR’s performance are scarce, but the hot Defender is expected to benefit from Land Rover’s technical partnership with BMW.
Auto Express’s report claims the German carmaker’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which can also be found in the BMW X5 M and M8, will sit underneath the SVR’s bonnet. It is expected to produce around 500bhp, putting it in direct competition with the Mercedes-AMG G63.
Like the regular Defender, the SVR’s engine will be connected to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and an all-wheel drive system, the magazine notes.
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