According to a recent article discussing the upcoming Land Rover SVR by MotorTrend‘s Jonny Lieberman, the range-topping, high-performance version of the popular SUV could be powered by a BMW V8. Initially brought to market in the U.S. with a pair of inline four- and six-cylinder engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium family, the new Defender, which has proven to be a hot seller, has had its lineup expanded with the same supercharged 5.0-liter V8 from Range Rover and Jaguar. The engine develops 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, but the P525 trim level it’s used in is likely to be succeeded by an SVR with roughly 600 horsepower per the article.
Jaguar Land Rover recently joined the growing list of automakers which have committed to going all-electric in the near future, and the closest thing they have to a 600-horsepower engine in the parts bin is the 575-horsepower version of the 5.0-liter AJ V8 which was used in the Jaguar F-Type SVR that signed off last year, and now the Jaguar F-Type R. Following Lieberman’s line of reasoning, by the time the Defender SVR arrives, BMW’s own aging S63 M V8 could be an ideal candidate for a 600-horsepower engine that can still meet ever-tightening emissions standards.
Such a cooperation wouldn’t be completely unheard-of. It’s not the first time a rumor regarding the potential for Jaguar Land Rover to use BMW engines has circulated, and the two automakers have collaborated on EV tech, including electric motors, in recent years. The MotorTrend article is also correct in pointing out the fact that BMW’s S63 engine is more modern and emissions-friendly than the supercharged Jaguar AJ V8, which can trace its roots back to 1996. BMW’s current 4.4-liter V8 family arrived in 2008, but has been revised countless times over the years, as we’ve taken the time to examine.
In it’s current form, in the Competition variants of the M5, M8, X5 M and X6 M, the 4.4-liter BMW S63 M twin-turbocharged V8 develops 617 horsepower from 5,600 to 6,700 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 5,800. It’s also mated to ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission, the same unit used by a wide array of other automakers, including Jaguar Land Rover and, more specifically, the Defender.
BMW is said to be working on one final V8 engine though, which would expectedly replace the N63 and S63. The engine is rumored to be exclusive to upcoming M models, and could use the same modular architecture as the line of B38, B48, and B58 inline three-, four-, and six-cylinder engines. In the mean time, the Jaguar F-Type has become an exclusively V8 model after the turbocharged inline-four and supercharged V6 engines were dropped from the lineup in favor of 444-horsepower and 575-horsepower versions of the corporate supercharged V8. Why the automaker never adapted the Ingenium inline-six to the model remains unknown, but Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it’s developing a hydrogen fuel-cell electric prototype of the Defender, which isn’t unlike what BMW is doing with the X5.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG, Jaguar Land Rover.]