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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

New hardcore Defender OCTA teased as current V8’s replacement

Long served supercharged V8 will bow-out in favour of a twin-turbo mild-hybrid V8, most likely sourced from BMW.

With the Jaguar brand set to become fully electric next year, parent company, JLR, has released the first official teaser images of a new performance variant of the “Land Rover” Defender due out later this year.

What to expect

The supposed replacement for the current Defender V8, the cryptic images show not only the inclusion of Brembo brake calipers, but also all-terrain tyres and a series of red octahedron shapes as per the newcomer being called the Defender OCTA.

Its name derived from the shape of a diamond, the only other confirmed information comprises gloss black diamond inserts and what JLR calls a sandblasted titanium disc panel inside.

ALSO READ: Jaguar’s turnaround starting in June with end of XE, XF and F-Type

Underneath, the biggest mechanical highlight centres around what is described as “an innovative pitch and roll” system dubbed 6D Dynamics as part of the standard air suspension.

JLR teases new rugged Defender Octa
Octahedron badge on the side is said to take inspiration from a diamond. Image: JLR

According to JLR, this “will enable Defender OCTA to maintain a near-level stance during acceleration, braking and cornering on-road, while also maximising independent wheel travel and articulation across the most demanding off-road terrain”.

The wording on the hydraulic interlinked system goes further, as it is said to offer “an unparalleled breadth of capability, comfort and composure, whether on-road or off-road”.

Goodbye supercharged V8

Already undergoing testing in Sweden, Dubai and the Nürburgring, the main drawing card involves the engine JLR only identified as a twin-turbo mild-hybrid V8.

Billed as the most powerful ever to be fitted to a Defender, the bent-eight in question is expected to come from BMW as part of the partnership agreement signed between Munich and JLR’s predecessor, Jaguar-Land Rover, five years ago.

JLR teases new rugged Defender Octa
Brembo brakes will be standard on the Octa as it is on the current Defender V8. Image: JLR

As such, the downsized 4.4-litre unit, already used in the full-size Range Rover, will replace the venerable Ford-era AJ-V8 supercharged produced in various displacements and aspirations since 1996.

While no power details were disclosed, the unit currently produces between 390kW/750Nm and 452kW/750Nm in the Range Rover, compared to the larger displacement 5.0-litre AJ-V8’s 386kW/625Nm in the Defender V8.

More soon

Described as the “toughest, most capable and luxurious” Defender JLR has ever made – in addition to being the likely first without the Land Rover name – more details of Defender OCTA, including a date of reveal, is expected to emerge within the coming months.

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