The weather has been extremely hot around Europe in the last about two weeks and this makes Germany’s Nurburgring a preferable location for hot weather testing in the automotive industry. It may seem a little surprising to see a large off-roader like the Land Rover Defender around the track but every new vehicle must be put to its paces before it is ready to hit the production lines. More importantly, this is an SVX prototype, which will reportedly be more powerful and more performance-oriented than any other Defender variant to date.
The British firm puts camouflage on almost the entire vehicle. The front fascia is heavily disguised, hinting at a new arrangement for the bumper and the air openings. The camouflage foil can’t hide the extended wheel arches, as well as those beefy round exhaust pipes at the back – there are four of them, hinting at V8 power under the hood.
Gallery: Land Rover Defender SVX new spy photos
That eight-cylinder engine in question is believed to be a BMW-sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbo, which will replace the 5.0-liter supercharged V8. In the X5 M Competition, the 4.4 V8 motor from Munich generates 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and similar numbers could be expected for the British off-roader, too. However, Land Rover might not be allowed to use its full potential.
As a reminder, you can already buy a V8-powered Defender in the United States. The Defender V8 with a 5.0-liter supercharged mill produces 493 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration takes 5.7 seconds, which probably means the hotter SVX model should shave off a few tenths of a second in this discipline.
There’s no debut date announced for the hotter Defender V8 yet. Land Rover could probably wait and release it as a 2024 model, though the development seems to be in the advanced stages. The largest and most powerful 2023 Defender in the United States currently is the Defender 130 V8, which has eight seats and a starting price of $116,600. The SVX variant will probably cost more.