Currently reading: 2023 Land Rover Defender SVX primed as AMG G500 4x4 rival
British firm is readying a new range-topping Defender with a snarling V8 and rugged styling

Land Rover is readying a radical new range-topping version of the Defender to take on the Mercedes-AMG G500 4x42 – and it could be the long-awaited spearhead for the dormant SVX sub-brand.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division (SVO) planned to launch the SVX brand for the most extreme reworkings of series-production models and to sell them alongside SVR and SVAutobiography cars.

The first model in this family was to be the 518bhp V8-powered Discovery SVX, but that was cancelled in 2019, with Land Rover telling Autocar the badge would live on for other, unspecified models. JLR design boss Gerry McGovern had earlier suggested it would “arguably” be appropriate for future Defender models.

Now, as a heavily modified Land Rover Land Rover Defender prototype takes to the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it seems the SVX plan could be back on.

SVO boss Michael van der Sande recently told Autocar that the division’s modus operandi is to “dial up the content of the car to nine, 10 or even 11 sometimes, depending on how crazy we want to go” – and the indications are that this new variant is the most ‘crazy’ Defender.

The quad exhausts point to the mule taking its power from the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 used by the existing Defender V8 (indeed, Van der Sande said it would be “a bit of time” before this engine is discontinued), which in that application produces 518bhp and 461lb ft for a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec and a 145mph top speed.

There are no clues to any mechanical alterations, but what is clear is just how extensively it is differentiated from the standard car.

The wheel arches, for example, are heavily flared, the suspension is raised, the wheels and tyres look to be bespoke all-terrain items and there’s a set of large mudflaps to round off the look.

It’s a similar treatment to that applied to the heavily modified previous-generation Defender in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre. Other defining features of that highly exclusive creation were its external roll-cage, front winch and protective body elements.

While the standard Defender V8 competes with AMG’s big- selling G63 SUV, this variant would more closely rival the more extreme G500 4x42, which is expected to enter its second generation this year.

Expect a dual focus on off- road capability and on-road pace, with a price that puts it well clear of the approximately £100,000 Defender V8.

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gavsmit 12 May 2022

I don't want to pick on JLR specifically, but in these troubled times of climate change and the cost of living crisis, not to mention those who take illegal actions to protest about anything that takes their fancy, I think people who drive cars like this are going to face a lot of hostility going forward.

Such an obvious display of wealth and disregard for the environment is sure to summon not only the wrath of the usual mob of protestors, but also those brainwashed by the agenda-driven media mafia (who probably also drive cars like this anyway).

It's such a shame that the fashion of pushing cars 'more upmarket' has led to Land Rover forgetting its roots with the Defender - I'd happily buy a stripped-out modern take on the Defender, even an EV version if the price was right. Let those who like huge horse-powered luxury SUVs have the Range Rover instead.

 

  

Just Saying 12 May 2022
Well said gavsmit. Nothing for me to add.
289 12 May 2022

So is this going to match the spec of the G500 4x4 -2 with portal gear axles or just a wannabe spec of big flares and tyres?

Still, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

harf 12 May 2022

What is exactly happening to the J of JLR?

Where the heck are the show cars to preview the proposed 2025 Jaguar product? Or is Jaguar dead now?

Any chance autocar could pin JLR down and get some answers?