Spy shots have begun circulating of a high-performance off-road new Defender, presumed to be a 2024 model called the "Defender SVX." Taking the off-road provenance of the Defender and combining it with the tuning skills of Land Rover's Special Vehicles division, it's going to be the first ultra-high-performance off-road Land Rover to come to market.
The Defender SVX looks like it's going to build on the Defender V8, the current top of the performance heap. It's likely that the SVX will also use supercharged 5.0-liter AJ-V8, as the D7x platform the Defender is built on is not designed for the BMW V8 that Land Rover uses in the new top-performance Range Rovers.
The SVX boasts a wider stance, with the fenders flared out -- they're covered in camo, so whether this is bigger plastic flares or special bodywork is unclear. The vehicle rolls on racing-style alloys with meaty All-Terrain tires, and a factory lift. The quad-tip exhaust is more tucked in than the Defender V8, too.
What the Defender SVX offers beyond that we can see from the outside isn't quite clear. It's possible there are tweaks to the driveline and off-road software, but you can't discern those from spy videos.
The SVX name itself is even a guess on the part of the auto media, though it has precedent -- in 2017, Land Rover previewed a Discovery SVX, which would have had off-road tweaks and the supercharged V8. That vehicle got cancelled during austerity cuts at Land Rover in 2019, but as the Discovery 5 and Defender share a platform, some of that engineering may have made it into Defender.
The Defender continues to be a massive seller for Land Rover, and with the Range Rover SV padding the books massively for a Land Rover coming out of an economic crisis, it's reasonable to expect growth in the uprated trucks department, whether it's for on- or off-road use.
There's some early testing video of the Defender SVX on the Nurburgring in Germany. Though testing on the iconic track might seem completely out of character for Land Rover, many automakers use it for this purpose now as it's a uniform, dynamic testing ground. It also doesn't hurt that it's always full of automotive paparazzi who can leak some useful spy shots into the papers, drumming up interest in new vehicles. While the Defender SVX is still a lifted SUV on all terrain tires, and can't keep up with the likes of the Porsche 911s it shared the track with, it still definitely has gumption -- and looks to be an incredibly intriguing addition to the Defender line.
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