2021 land rover defender v8 ph r
Altair Club Cars 2021 Land Rover Defender V8 | PH Review | PistonHeads

2021 Land Rover Defender V8 | PH Review | PistonHeads

Land Rovers and V8s go back an awfully long time, but there aren’t many years left of new ones – pity. Now with 525hp thanks to a supercharged 5.0, the latest 90 is the most powerful V8 Defender ever. Is it also the best? Over to Dan to find out.

This is a land rover defender it’s slow it’s noisy it’s uncomfortable and according to some people it’s everything a land rover defender should be now those people who love this kind of defender tend to have a fairly dim view of the new land rover defender if that’s you look away now say hello to the new land rover defender v8 it’s got a supercharged engine

More than 500 horsepower and it’s the most road biased defender yet so if you’re one of those people who happens to think a defender should be agricultural like that old one this probably isn’t the car for you the giveaways are the 22-inch wheels and quad exhaust tips this is the same 5-liter supercharged v8 that’s been making land rovers and jaguars romp along

The road and raw like thunder for years here it produces 525 horsepower and 461 pounds for the torque the defender v8 weighs two and a half thousand kilograms and romps to 62 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds topping out at 149 it costs a whisker under 100 000 pounds land rover has tried to invoke the spirit of the original defender by making this new one’s cabin

Feel a bit utilitarian so you’ve got things like exposed screw heads here and this brace that runs across the full width of the car it’s sort of skeletal however what you actually notice are things like these enormous digital displays which actually work really well not very defender-ish but they do work well the infotainment system is very good quite chunky

Buttons here good seating position nice and lofty but you don’t feel like you’re sort of sitting on top of the car like you do in an old defender and have a look at this a suede trimmed steering wheel if you showed that to a farmer he would laugh in your face we know this engine very well it’s been used for a couple of decades now in countless range rovers and

Jaguars the jaguar f-type the very fast saloon cars as well and it’s a mighty engine it’s always been a really characterful exciting powertrain bundles of power and torque as well and unlike a turbo engine even a modern turbo engine this one because it’s supercharged it’s got razor sharp throttle response i mean it’s just so instantaneous way sharper than you

Get with any turbo setup so what does 525 horsepower feel like in a defender well i mean the car is quick there’s no question it’s really quick this thing is also bloody heavy though so it’s not quite as sort of shockingly accelerative as 525 horsepower might make you think still no complaints from me about the performance in this car also the soundtrack is

Superb there’s a proper sort of rumbly bassy v8 sound but it’s overlaid with a high-pitched supercharger wine now i’ve not really heard that supercharger wine from this motor before but it’s definitely here in this one it’s right there when you put your foot down and you run it all the way up to the limiter that’s supercharger wine is right there it sounds so

Cool i mean it’s just a silly engine i love that meanwhile the eight-speed auto gearbox it’s pretty much faultless it’s so smooth in auto mode and then surprisingly responsive in manual mode as well the defender v8 gets re-tuned air springs and much bigger anti-roll bars there’s a dynamic mode for the first time plus an active rear differential to make it the

Most agile defender yet whatever that means so does it feel like the most road biased defender yet yeah i suppose it does it does still feel like a defender though i think the first thing you notice that’s very defendery about this car is despite those whacking great anti-roll bars the moment you pitch it into a corner it just does that it just drops it leans

Really heavily onto its outside wheels and to begin with it’s quite spooky it makes you think oh my god the thing’s going to tip over but then you grow accustomed to it then you sort of build your confidence in the car and you learn that just because it’s rolling quite dramatically it doesn’t mean it’s going to tip of course it won’t tip soon enough then you find

Yourself chucking it along a flowing b road allowing it to roll but leaning on the grip and you discover that it’s pretty well balanced in corners it feels quite keen quite neutral the steering has always been a highlight of this latest generation of defender so much better than the old ones you actually have quite a lot of faith because the steering is responsive

It’s sort of well judged there’s no vagueness about it really and so you barrel along a road quickly feeling pretty confident if you switch it into comfort mode i think that’s when you begin to understand where this car is a bit compromised the ride for instance is it’s sort of okay it’s fine but it’s just a bit busier than i’d like it to be particularly on

A slightly uneven road it’s just constantly fidgeting and that just seems unnecessary it seems like that would become a bit annoying in normal use the trouble with giving a defender 525 horsepower is that it needs to be able to use them it needs to be able to cope with that power being deployed on a challenging b road and so the chassis needs to be up to it it

Needs to have a degree of sporting pretension just to be able to cope with all that power and that is where you begin to erode some of the comfort and day-to-day usability so yeah if you approach this defender v8 with the steely-eyed objectivity of a magazine road tester you can start to pick flaws in it it’s not the most sort of well-resolved most complete most

Convincing version of this new defender that there is a long way from it in fact the reality is no defender wants to be a sporting car it’s just fundamentally not set up to be sporty so this very powerful very fast v8 model is slightly uncomfortable in its own skin i wonder if the defender v8 would actually be a better car without the supercharger with something

Like 400 horsepower a nice woefully rumbly v8 rather than this manic one a load of money off the list price a slightly more relaxed chassis setup i just think that would be a more rounded more convincing car overall however supercharged v8s with 525 horsepower like this one they’re not going to be around a whole lot longer are they and overall i’m just glad

That you can buy a land rover defender of all things with this engine there have been v8 powered defenders before but this is the first that’s been pitched as an actual performance car in that respect the defender v8 has overreached despite all that power and the retuned chassis it’s no drivers car but as silly cars become fewer and further between the last few

Remaining unhinged lunatics should be celebrated this unquestionably is one of them you for watching this piston heads video remember to comment below and subscribe to our channel

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2021 Land Rover Defender V8 | PH Review | PistonHeads By PistonHeads

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