The V8 gasoline engine is perhaps the most sinful indulgence in the automotive world at the moment. The once staple of muscle cars and later being shoehorned into a lot of German performance cars is now slowly dying away due to emissions and a rapid push towards electrification.
Thankfully the V8 is still alive and kicking in some parts of the world. Curiously it is the British and the Americans which are the V8 flag-bearers
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon versus the Land Rover Defender: Rugged off-roaders
The Land Rover Defender now has a V8 option. That neatly coincides with the fact that the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has now gone on sale in the US. Both are rugged off-roaders which now have a layer of extra driver involvement via a mammoth great V8 underneath their massive hoods.
The Defender is faster though as its 5.0-litre V8 supercharged motor develops more power at 525HP along with a substantial torque figure of 625Nm. The gearbox happens to be an 8-speed automatic. The engine is available with both the Defender body styles in form of the 90 and 100.
The Defender 90 is the more sprightly of the two body styles. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds while having a top-speed of a top speed of 149 mph. Further changes include an introduction of a new Dynamic mode within the Terrain Response system. Anti-roll bars help reduce body roll along with an Electronic Active Rear Differential.
The Jeep meanwhile displaces a humongous 6.4-liters worth of menacing V8 while developing 470HP. Unlike the Defender, the Wrangler is available only as a four-door but its performance is similarly quick, with a sub 5 seconds 0-60 mph time.
While Land Rover and the V8 engine has a long association which harks back to the 1970s, the Wrangler V8 is uncharted territory for Jeep. It is the first time in 40 years that the Wrangler has a factory fitted V8 option.
Unlike the Defender, the Wrangler V8 is also less about on-road theatrics and uses its V8 to boost its off-roading prowess. The Defender boasts 22-inch alloy wheels with a “Satin Dark Grey finish”. And the Wrangler Rubicon 392 is even higher off the ground than the standard Wrangler along with packing some potent off-road ammunition.
In terms of pricing, these V8-powered monsters are not cheap. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is around $74,995. To put that into perspective the next most expensive Wrangler is $51,010. The Defender would be pricier still (exact pricing details not disclosed yet) and aims to grab a chunk of the Mercedes G63 AMG and Lamborghini Urus market.
V8-powered 4x4s are not such a rare phenomenon considering how many Lamborghini Urus and G63 AMG’s we have seen being scattered about in the wealthiest corners of the world. The Defender V8 is in that very same mould and would certainly set the cash registers ringing for Land Rover.
The Wrangler Rubicon 392 is more hardcore and will appeal to Jeep fans looking for more power for their weekend excursions. So, cruising across Mayfair or canyon hunting in Mojave? Pick your poison.