Land Rover is taking the Defender into uncharted territory.
The 2022 Defender 90 and 110 will be available with a high-performance supercharged V-8 engine whose 518 hp can propel the boxy off-roader to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds.
Defenders have had V-8 engines in the past, but the General Motors-designed aluminum V-8 used in models sold in the 1990s was more of a torquey, low-revving motor suitable for crawling up hills and over rocky terrain.
The new 5.0-liter V-8 is a tire-shredding performance engine that will help the modern-day Defender take on rivals such as Mercedes-Benz's 577-hp AMG G-Glass.
Land Rover engineers have tweaked the Defender's eight-speed transmission, chassis and suspension system to handle the significant bump in power over the 395-hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the most powerful motor available in 2021 models. The V-8 is rated at 461 pound-feet of torque, and the V-8 powered Defender 90 has a top speed of 149 mph.
Other changes for 2022 models include new trim packages and a larger optional 11.4-inch touch screen. Wireless charging for phones and other electronic devices will be standard.
Jaguar Land Rover has not released prices or said when the 2022 models will arrive.
The 2022 Defender lineup will have nine Defender 90 variants and nine Defender 110 variants. The 2.0-liter 296-hp turbocharged Ingenium four-cylinder remains the base engine in both Defenders.