Those who like their extreme off-roaders to come with a heaping silver spoonful of luxury and sophistication have long had the Mercedes G-Wagen to turn to. But Defender, the original globetrotter, is coming back with a version that won’t pull any punches.
We’re going to throw a lot of letters at you right now: JLR SVO SVX. Don’t freak out, we’ll quickly explain. Jaguar Land Rover recently rebranded to simply “JLR” and split off most of its vehicles into their own sub-brands, like the Defender. JLR’s in-house performance division is SVO or “Special Vehicle Operations,” and functions much like BMW’s M division or the AMG part of Mercedes-AMG.
“SVX” is the designation given to special edition Defenders in the past and are the most extreme examples that then-Land Rover could produce. It looks like JLR is bringing it back in the form of a more rugged version of the V8-powered defender.
Spy shots of the Defender SVX have been gathered for months by keen-eyed car spotters, most recently, Motor1 has acquired a batch of new images of the SVX driving around the Nürburgring in Germany.
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Defender’s current lineup has a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 available for the short two-door Defender 90 and the standard-sized Defender 110 four-door, and the elongated Defender 130 will get a V8 option next year. In the first two, the V8 generates 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, while next year’s 130 is expected to have 493 hp on tap. That’s already a ton of power on offer, particularly with the very playful 90 model, so the SVX should be expected to have even more.
Though camouflaged, prototypes have revealed a few details like lifted suspension, wider wheel arches and 20-inch wheels in all-terrain tires. These all allude to the SVX being more rough-and-tumble ready like Ford’s Bronco Raptor.
Bronco fans may share the same outdoor enthusiasm as Defender drivers but they’re not really competing with it for garage space. The Mercedes-AMG G63 on the other hand, is a big contender in the extreme luxury off-roader arena. Its twin-turbo V8 pumps out 577 horsepower and its boxy cabin is loaded to the gills with all the accoutrements one would expect in a Mercedes, all riding on a wild sport off-road suspension. If the Defender is coming for anyone, it’s this souped-up G-Wagen.
With the Defender’s 2024 lineup already announced, the SVX isn’t quite ready for prime time, but if it’s out and about testing this much, it’s likely to be almost there, likely in time for 2025.
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