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Could one of the first beneficiaries of BMW and Jaguar Land Rover’s next round of collaboration be a Defender sporting a twin-turbocharged V-8 sourced from the German automaker?

A report from the United Kingdom early Friday points to a Land Rover Defender packing a 500-horsepower, 4.4-liter BMW V-8 that would give it the punch to go toe-to-toe with the Mercedes-AMG G63. 

According to Auto Express, a running prototype of this new high-output Defender is already being tested at Land Rover’s engineering facility in the U.K. 

BMW and JLR have already confirmed that they plan to collaborate on future powertrains⁠—both ICE and electric. Vehicle architecture is expected to be the next focus of joint development as Jaguar especially wants to expand its lineup of small SUVs and crossovers.

2019 BMW 5-Series (M550i xDrive)

2019 BMW 5-Series (M550i xDrive)

For the past several years, JLR has sourced engines from former parent company Ford and has looked for new partnerships in this arena since completing in-house development on its Ingenium line of inline engines.

A Defender SVR would be new territory for Land Rover, and puts its engineers in the position of playing catch-up to Mercedes-Benz, which has been building high-output G-Wagens for nearly two decades. 

Fortunately, Land Rover is no stranger to putting beefy engines into SUVs, but most of its experience has been on the luxury side of the equation. The Range Rover line has carried the performance banner for Land Rover for years, and the current Sport SVR model can be equipped with a 575-horsepower supercharged V-8. 

We expect this to be the tip of the iceberg for BMW and JLR engine collaboration, and this 4.4-liter V-8 could make its way under the hood of multiple Jaguar and Land Rover models in the next few years.

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