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According to Australian auto website Carsales.com.au, Land Rover is likely planning to build an even tougher version of its recently unveiled Defender V8. Michael van der Sande, the company’s head of Special Vehicle Operations, did not directly confirm plans to build a V-8 defender against Raptor, but did suggest in an interview that the car was in preparation.
Van der Sande told Carsales.com.au that the current Defender V8 did not receive an SV or SVX badge – something that is usually found on the most expensive, highest performing Land Rover models – because he didn’t have the right « amount of engineering changes you would expect from an SV product. » In addition to the 518 hp supercharged V-8, the Defender V8 also has a newly tuned suspension, larger brakes and a sophisticated yaw control traction system.
When asked by Carsales.com.au if SVO would develop a Defender V8 that lives up to the badge, van der Sande did not directly confirm the vehicle, but did inform the website of the purchase of Bowler in 2019. Known for building ultra-capable Land Rover rally trucks, the road performance specialist was « very intentional. »
Van der Sande said he wasn’t sure if a hardcore Defender V8 if lit green for production would wear an SVX or SVR badge. « We have a strategy of staying true to the underlying character of the vehicle we are developing, » he told Carsales.com.au.
The only time Land Rover has used the SVX nameplate has been for the stillborn Discovery SVX, which was released in 2017 just to cease production. The SVR badge is currently used on the top performing version of the Range Rover Sport.
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