Supercharged 2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Spanks Ford’s Measly F-150 Raptor EcoBoost V6

The Land Rover Defender was introduced in 1984 as a series of off-road vehicles, but also small pickup trucks, tracing its roots all the way back to the original Land Rover series of 1948. So if there’s ever been a British 4×4 worth comparing to the iconic Ford Bronco or F-150, it’s this one.

In the modern age “comparing” means drag racing, usually. As most cars are reasonably comfortable, we’re impressed by speed and horsepower above all else. But if you think about it, a Land Rover Defender that’s faster than a Ford F-150 Raptor is positively shocking.

Defenders used to be known for their small four-cylinder engines. You also got the odd Rover 3.5L V8 from time to time, but nothing like the modern 5.0-liter supercharged. We’re frankly shocked that the Defender V8 exists, and 20 years from now, it’s probably going to be a highly-desirable collectible.

It is the flagship of the range with adjustable suspension and a number of other tricks: torque vectoring, new anti-roll bars and tweaked springs. To mark its arrival, the sporty V8 also brings a new finish to the seats and steering wheel. What it doesn’t do is huge tires, unlike the Raptor which brought 37 inches to a drag race.

Why drag race a Defender and Raptor?

Well, YouTuber Sam CarLegion says they’re quite similarly priced, but I think he just loves being behind the wheel of the Defender and is looking for excuses. The price thing is by no means true, a 110 series 4-door defender is over $100,000 while the F-150 Raptor currently retails at just $70,000.

They also go about delivering power differently. For the past two generations, Raptors have been using Ford’s EcoBoost V6, a twin-turbo 3.5-liter currently delivering 450 horsepower. It’s not as athletic on the road as Ford’s other performance cars and certainly can’t match the pace of the Ram TRX.

The Defender V8 uses a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 which makes 518 horsepower, so it makes 68 hp more than a Raptor, which in turn compensates with torque. But their 0 to 60 times are quite close: 4.9 seconds vs. 5.1 seconds.

What looks like a close win for the Land Rover on paper turns out to be more of a stomp at the race track. The Defender really struggles to launch and is all over the track. However, once it hooks up, the V8 power kicks in. Two roll races follow, from 30 mph and 60 mph with expected results.



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