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Land Rover adds thumping V8 to Defender line-up

V8 power returns to the Land Rover Defender for 2022, along with new XS Edition

26 Feb 2021

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia has unveiled its MY22 Defender line-up where the big news is the addition of the group’s iconic supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in both 90 and 110 body styles, each being available from $200,540 and $205,500 plus on-road costs respectively.


With 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque on tap, the new P525 twins go straight to the top of the table as the fastest and most powerful Defenders to date, launching from 0-100km/h in a sportscar-scaring 5.2 seconds (90).


More than just an engine upgrade, the P525s feature unique spring and damper rates, stiffer suspension bushes, solid anti-roll bars and a new electronic active rear differential with active yaw control.


Rather than make the hi-po twins black-top specialists, the P525 also features a new Dynamic program within the Terrain Response system to help maintain their off-road capabilities.


In case the V8 soundtrack slips under the radar, JLR has adorned the V8 Defenders with a series of exclusive styling cues including bespoke exterior badging, quad exhausts and unique grey 22-inch alloy wheels, behind which peek out Xenon Blue front brake callipers and 20-inch rotors.


Just three colours will be offered on the P525s – Carpathian Grey, Yulong White and Santorini Black – while standard equipment highlights include Ebony Windsor leather with Miko Suedecloth and Robustec accents, Alcantara-wrapped four-spoke steering wheel, satin chrome gearshift paddles, leather gear lever and dash trim as well as illuminated ‘V8’ treadplates.


According to JLR powertrain advanced engineering senior manager Iain Gray, the bent eight enhances the “unique character” of the Defender and provides “new levels of driver appeal”.


“Our engineering focus has been to optimise powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road – all without compromising Defender’s unstoppable all-terrain capability and wading ability,” he said.


The new flagship V8s are not the only new additions to the range for the 2022 model year however with the mid-range Launch Edition being replaced by the P400 XS Edition which starts from $110,640 for the 90 and $113,580 for the 110.


Powered by the now familiar 294kW/550Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, the XS Editions can be singled out by their body-coloured lower cladding and wheelarches as well as a unique set of 20-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels.


Slotting into the range above the SE variants, standard equipment highlights on the XS Editions include heated 12-way power adjustable seats with memory function, grained leather upholstery, Matrix LED headlights with signature daytime running lights and Clearsight rearview mirror.


As for the rest of the range, there have been few other changes as part of the MY22 rollover save for some price increases across the board of up to $7600 depending on the variant, the new optional 11.4-inch Pivi Pro infotainment screen and the addition of three new exterior packs – Bright Pack, Extended Bright Pack and Extended Black Pack.


JLR chief product engineer David Hemming said with the expanded line-up afforded by the new variants and exterior packs, there was now truly “a Defender for everyone”.


The local arm of JLR sold 158 Defenders last month, accounting for an even 9.0 per cent of the $70,000-plus large SUV market, a segment it shares with both the Range Rover Sport (171/9.8%) and Velar (46/2.6%).


2022 Land Rover Defender pricing*

P300 (a) $74,640
D200 (a) $81,290
P300 S (a) $83,470
D250 S (a) $90,450
P400 SE (a) $100,450
P400 XS Edition (a) $110,640
P400 X (a) $141,480
P525 V8 (a) $200,540
P300 (a) $76,960
D250 (a) $82,590
D250 S (a) $91,220
P400 S (a) $92,360
D300 SE (a) $96,780
P400 SE (a) $103,800
P400 XS Edition (a) $113,580
D300 X-Dynamic HSE (a) $113,980
P400 X-Dynamic HSE (a) $120,480
D300 X (a) $143,190
P400 X (a) $145,290
P525 V8 (a) $205,500

*Excludes on-road costs

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