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Land Rover’s Newest Defender Is Its Most Powerful Yet

Land Rover’s Defender line is finally getting the flagship it deserves.

The British SUV maker just announced a new version of its most recent SUV called the Octa. In addition to an electrified twin-turbocharged V-8 that will make it the most powerful Defender yet, the rugged 4×4 will also come with an upgraded suspension system that will make off-roading even easier.

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The lack of detail in the announcement suggests that the Defender Octa isn’t ready for the limelight just yet. Still, what Land Rover has shared is certain to pique the interest of many off-roading enthusiasts. The most intriguing tidbit so far is that the model will be powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8 with mild-hybrid technology. The automaker hasn’t gone into specifics about the powertrain’s output yet, but did promise the variant will be the “most powerful Defender vehicle ever.”

The Land Rover Octa's hybrid-assisted twin-turbocharged V-8
The Land Rover Defender Octa’s twin-turbocharged V-8

This has led to speculation that the setup will be like that found in the new Range Rover Sport SV, according to Car and Driver. The mill in that SUV is a hybrid-assisted twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that produces 626 horses and 553 ft lbs of twist. For comparison, the current most-potent Defender is the Carpathian Edition, which has a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 518 hp and 461 ft lbs of torque. That’s a pretty big jump. It also suggests the Defender Octa will be fast since the Range Rover Sport SV can zoom from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 mph.

The mild-hybrid powertrain isn’t all the Defender Octa will borrow from the Range Rover SV. Land Rover has confirmed that the latest Defender will also utilize its 6D Dynamics air suspension system as well. The hydraulic interlinked technology will allow the vehicle to maintain the same level on-road, whether it’s accelerating, braking, and cornering. The system will also have serious off-road benefits, including maximizing independent wheel travel and articulation over rough and unstable terrain.

The Land Rover Octa's diamond-shaped badging
The Defender Octa’s unique badging

Jaguar Land Rover announced that it was changing its name to JLR as part of its pivot EVs. The company also said it would eventually spin its lineup off into four distinct brands—Range RoverDefenderDiscovery, and Jaguar. The Defender Octa will have its own unique diamond-shaped badging so it sounds like that time has finally come. Expect to find out more when the SUV makes its full debut later this year.

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