Aside from being named the 2021 Women’s World Car of the Year, the Land Rover Defender is also setting its sights on different matters. It turns out that the Defender wants to further cement its name as the alpha of off-road vehicles. And it seems that Land Rover already has its target locked on the Ford Ranger Raptor.
The Land Rover Defender
According to a report by Carsales, Land Rover is working on a more performance-oriented Defender that will go up against the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor. From the looks of it, Land Rover wants to make the Defender’s off-road capability more extreme, more versatile, and more performance-oriented.
The more off-road performance-oriented Defender is said to be based on the Land Rover Defender V8, a vehicle that was launched in February 2021. It’s basically a Defender that’s equipped with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivers 518 hp and 624 Nm of torque, making it the fastest production version of the said vehicle.
The report added that the Land Rover Defender will not just get more power and torque but will also be fitted with a motorsport-inspired high-lift race suspension. It is also said to get a revamped exterior as well new tech to ensure its go-anywhere capability.
The Land Rover Defender can drive through almost any terrain
Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (JLR SVO) Managing Director Michael van der Sande did not fully confirm the said report when he spoke to Carsales. The JLR SVO boss is currently tight-lipped about the matter but said that the company felt “slightly underrepresented in performance off-roading.”
Could that statement mean that Land Rover is indeed working on a more off-road performance-oriented Defender? We couldn’t quite say so. But you have to take note that JLR has purchased Bowler, a company that specializes in modifying production cars to rally-bred vehicles. Bowler has been modifying Land Rovers since 1985 and competes in motorsport events such as the Dakar Rally. As such, when you connect the dots, it could be possible that Land Rover is working on a more off-road performance-oriented Defender.
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