(By Tom Lohnes) – Well if you’re a high-horsepower, V8-powered extreme-offroad SUV enthusiast, now is your time. Two of the most prominent SUV manufacturers have shoved bug V8 engines into their most capable vehicles, and they both look like a riot.
The new Jeep Wrangler 392 is a rare beast, but pitted against the new Land Rover Defender V8, it is inferior. Riding on massive 35-inch tires from factory, this Wrangler has the tried-and-true 6.4-liter V8 that has made its way into just about any FCA model imaginable. 0-60 for this hopped-up off-roader happens in 4.5 seconds, which is quicker than the new Ford F-150 Raptor. Even though the Wrangler looks strong on paper, it’s recently-announced $75,000 price tag puts it above the über-capable Ram 1500 TRX on the price scale, making it not such a great buy.
The new Land Rover Defender V8 is many things, and a 5,300-pound barrel of fun is one of them. With a 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 under the hood, the Defender V8 cranks out 518 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. Available in 2-or-4-door flavors, the V8 Defender will rocket to 60 in 3.9 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in the mid-12s, which is unheard of for an off-roader such as this one. And, at $67,500, it is far cheaper than the brutal Jeep.
So, which V8 SUV is for you? The Jeep sure is cool, but I don’t think I can stomach that price tag. So, I’ll have to go Defender on this one.