• The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Will Have a New BMW-Powered Competitor in the Land Rover Defender SVR

That’s right, a Land Rover Defender SVR is coming

Hear this out: Jaguar Land Rover is hiding a high-performance prototype based on the new Defender which will ultimately make it to production under the SVR badge. The model is currently developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division and when it finally hatches, the Defender SVR will use a 4.4-liter BMW-sourced engine in its attempt to give the Mercedes-AMG G 63 a run for its money.

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Will Have a New BMW-Powered Competitor in the Land Rover Defender SVR Wallpaper quality
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According to AutoExpress, the Defender lineup will receive a new range-topping model in the shape of a performance-oriented, SVR-badged version based on BMW’s 4.4-liter hot-vee V-8 engine currently found inside the M5 sedan and X5 M/X6 M power-SUVs. The same outlet says that the beefed-up Defender is 18 months away from market debut, which means we should hear more about it - and witness a potential debut - towards the end of 2020.

With that information in mind, let’s have a closer look at what’s at stake here. When the Defender SVR finally hits the showrooms, its biggest and perhaps only true rival will be the Mercedes-AMG G 63.

Under the Affalterbach monster’s hood works a handcrafted 4.0-liter, hot-vee V-8 engine slapped with two turbochargers. Inside the G 63, the powerhouse cranks out 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Will Have a New BMW-Powered Competitor in the Land Rover Defender SVR Wallpaper quality
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Thanks to JLR’s partnership with BMW, the SVR-badged Defender will embrace Munich’s 4.4-liter, also a hot-vee V-8 engine that is currently moving the M5, the X5 M/X6 M, and the M8. The unit - which will finds its way into the next-gen Jaguar F-Type and Range Rover Sport - makes 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque inside the M5, X5 M/X6 M, and M8, but it’s also tweaked to produce 617 horsepower in Competition-badged versions based on the said models.

That said, we don’t think the 4.4-liter V-8 will make that much power inside the Defender SVR. We’re thinking something in the region of 500-550 horsepower would do the trick for the SUV. Subsequently, JLR will stop using Ford-made V-8s, as the Blue Oval has rolled out plans to shut down its Bridgend plant that was tasked with putting together these units.

So, what does this change mean for the Defender? AutoExpress says some mods are imminent.

In particular, the Defender SVR will pack an air suspension setup as standard, while the Terrain Response 2 setup is bound to be re-tweaked with a pre-set track mode.

The same outlet mentions that the Defender’s new aluminium platform allows plenty of performance-specific chassis tuning, so switching to a more performance-oriented setup for the Defender SVR won’t be an issue. In the process, the SUV is bound to keep its off-road prowess to pretty much the same standards - in all honesty, it can’t afford to drop the ball in that department, as the G 63 can still do more than just pull its own weight on rough terrain and is a force to be reckoned with.

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 Will Have a New BMW-Powered Competitor in the Land Rover Defender SVR Wallpaper quality
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Visually, the Defender SVR is bound to receive larger wheels (with a different design to set it apart from the current models) and a reshaped body kit fitted with larger air intakes as well as more aggressive front and rear bumpers. We also expect the cabin to take the posher avenue, both in terms of trim and technology: carbon fiber, aluminum, and leather are prime candidates to adorn the Defender SVR’s cockpit, while as far as the tech package goes, don’t act surprised if you’ll see a touchscreen-clad interior and a head-up display setup, among other gimmicks.

All these additions will reflect heavily on the Defender SVR’s price tag, which is likely to start at north of $111,000). Of course, that’s pure speculation for the time being, but the fact that the Mercedes-AMG G 63 sells for at least $147,000 in the U.S. should put things into perspective.

2020 Land Rover Defender - U.S. specifications
Land Rover Defender P400 Land Rover Defender P300
Engine Layout Inline 6 Turbocharged with Electric Boost Inline 4 Turbocharged
Displacement (cc) 2,996.0 1,997.3
Bore / Stroke (mm) 83.0 x 92.3 83.0 x 92.3
Compression Ratio (:1) 10.5 9.5
Max Power (hp) 395 @ 5,500rpm 296 @ 5,500rpm
Max Torque (lb ft) 406 @ 2,000-5,000rpm 295 @ 1,500-4,000rpm
Transmission Type ZF® 8-Speed Automatic (8HP76) ZF® 8-Speed Automatic (8HP45)
0-60 mph (s) 5.7 7.7
0-100 km/h (s) 6.0 8.1
50-75 mph (s) 3.6 5.3
Top Speed (mph) 129 119

Source: Autoexpress

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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