Is it hiding a BMW-sourced V8 under the hood?

After seeing the upcoming Land Rover Defender V8 in spy photos on a number of occasions, we can finally hear the sound of the eight-cylinder engine under the hood. A new video courtesy of the Auto Addiction channel on YouTube provides a more detailed look at the performance SUV.

It’s also important to note that this is our first sighting of a two-door V8 Defender prototype. The previous test cars, most of which were caught lapping the Nurburgring - just like this trial vehicle, were from the larger 110 variant.

Gallery: Land Rover Defender V8 Spy Photos

While it’s not a performance SUV in the same vein as, say, the BMW X3 M, the Defender V8 looks quite fast in this video. It’s tackling the corners with certain confidence despite the significant body roll and notable understeer. The relatively high-profile tires don’t seem to be especially helpful for track use.

The identity of the engine under the hood is not known yet. There are persisting rumors that Land Rover will borrow BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 for the Defender V8 but that hasn’t been confirmed so far. There are also reports speculating the British company is about to retire its aging 5.0-liter V8.

If the information turns out to be true, we expect the 4.4 V8 to be tuned to deliver something in the region of 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts). With such an amount of power, the Defender V8 will become a credible rival to the Mercedes-AMG G63.

This new spy video seems to confirm that both the Defender 90 and Defender 110 will get V8 power. We expect to see the final product launch at some point during the first half of next year with sales start following a few months later.