Here’s Why The Land Rover Defender 90 V-8 Is The Craziest SUV Currently On Sale!

The Defender 90 is an irrational and comical engineering exercise that should be cherished in the safety concerned and rational market of today

In this day and age, ICE cars usually aren’t all that quirky or insane. The days of irrational engines in arguably unsafe cars are over, and most new vehicles take the sensible route. However, Land Rover engineers have decided to spice up the car market with a Defender V-8. In this case, the V-8 is available both in the four-door 110 models but also in the tiny two-door 90. With 520 horsepower, this engine in a vehicle roughly as long as a Toyota Yaris is pure insanity. We wouldn’t classify it as unsafe, but it certainly is a bit unsettled. So, to honor the braveness and humor of Land Rover engineers, here are the quirks and pure craziness of the Defender 90 V-8.

What Sets The Land Rover Defender V-8 Apart From The Other Defenders?

As we mentioned above, the V-8 engine is available both in the 110 and 90. While both vehicles are insane, the 90 is even more so. For example, Jeep offers a V-8 in the Wrangler, but it is only available in the four-door as it would have been too much for the two-door. Granted, the base of the Wrangler isn’t as stable and predictable on road as the Defender; however, the engine in the Defender makes more horsepower. From the outside, the V-8 Defenders are relatively easy to distinguish. They feature a quad exhaust system, V-8 badging, big 22-inch wheels, and 15-inch brakes. The colors available are only white, black, or grey. There is also a special edition that comes in a Carpathian grey finish which basically is a mat paint job. While the cosmetic changes are relatively subtle, the difference in performance isn’t. The 110 V-8 Defender will hit 60 mph from rest in 5.2 seconds while the two-door 90 will do the same stint in just 4.9. The difference in time is obviously due to the lighter weight of the smaller two-door. It must be said that when the V-8 is at full noise the short wheelbase and tall dimensions of the 90 certainly make for handling characteristics that aren’t very confidence inspiring. The car tends to wander, but this just adds to the character.

The Defender V-8 Keeps Some Of Its Off-Road Abilities

The new Defender follows the old vehicle’s path by being off-road capable. Sure, it may approach off-roading differently, but there is no denying that clever electronics can keep the new vehicle going when the terrain gets tough. The V-8 variant keeps all those clever electronics but due to the increased power it needs bigger brakes that make fitting a smaller wheel more difficult. So, the V-8 comes standard with 22-inch wheels. If you wish, you can pay extra and have 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires that will improve puncture resistance and grip, but the 20-inch wheel is still way too big. Why is that? Well, when off-roading we tend to air down our tires to increase grip. If a car has a large wheel, it means that the tire’s sidewall is smaller which hinders our ability to air down safely. So, if off-roading is something you want to do, the V-8 isn’t the best option. However, it is worth noting that the increase in power has led to Land Rover engineers equipping the V8 models with beefier rear control arms. This leads to a stronger base for off-roading.

The Land Rover Defender V-8 Remains Comfortable And Usable

The V-8 Defender 90 and 110 remain comfortable and usable. They may have ample amounts of power and performance, but their basic functions as useable SUVs remain unchanged (except for the appalling 15mpg). Other than some Alcantara on the seats and steering wheel, the interior remains mostly the same and mostly unchanged. The infotainment system uses the same software, the new screen (larger in dimensions than the one in the previous model Defenders) is easy to read, all driving modes are there with the addition of a dynamic option, and the air suspension ensures the vehicle rides nicely. The most surprising fact, however, is the space the 90 offers in the second-row seats. A tall adult can seat back there comfortably and will benefit from a huge side window and alpine windows on the roof. The airiness and glass in the cabin of the 90 remind us of older SUVs. Also, rear passengers get dual-zone climate control, charging ports, armrests, and cup holders. The 90 may be shorter and less practical than the 110, but it certainly remains comfortable. The only small issue is getting in the second row as the opening space could have been a bit larger. As you would expect, the roomy second row comes at the price of boot space. There isn’t much space for cargo back there, but the second-row seats can be folded down to increase storage space.

The V-8 Land Rover Defender Is Bound To Be A Future Classic

As car guys, we tend to have the “superpower” of knowing a classic car before it becomes classic. However, we also have the superpower of always spending our money on car parts; therefore, we never have the money to invest in what we believe is a future classic. In any case, the V-8 Defender is certainly one of these future classics – especially the two-door 90. Why is this the case? Well, the 90 is a car, unlike any other car on the current market. It is quirky, unique, relatively rare, and filled with character. In today’s safety-concerned world, the Defender 90 V-8 is a fun exercise that infuses humor in a market filled with electricity, small turbo engines, and crumple zones. Sure, the Defender 90 also uses a structurally rigid and safe construction, but the decision to strap such a powerful engine in a car this short and tall is comical. The Defender 90 V8 is a car no one needs but everyone wants. Buying one is no rational decision, but one made with the heart. At the end of the day, the heart wants, what the heart wants.

Article Credits: Theodoros Georgiou
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