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It is several years ago now, but Land Rover used to fit their own petrol V8 engine in Defenders. The Rover V8 is a compact, lightweight, but very torquey engine, and represents the ‘authentic’ petrol power unit for the car.


There are many possibilities, but for the recent 2.4 and 2.2 Tdci Defenders, we have frequently installed a modernised 4.8 litre V8 (4,748 cc) with the later ‘Thor’ inlet manifold. This suits the most recent Defenders with electronic throttle actuation (TD5, Tdci), and it is often installed with an electronically controlled automatic gearbox. The Thor manifold was used on Discovery 2 V8s and on Range Rovers from 1999 to 2002, it gives a very wide torque spread to the engine, with peaks at roughly 2,500 and 4,500 rpm, so low speed output is much better than with earlier designs. This is very appropriate for 4x4 use. We build the engine with a motorised throttle, modern injectors, and a new, revised cam profile. The inlet manifold is gas-flowed using the ‘extrude-hone’ process, and the cylinder-head ports are basically CNC machined, then finished by hand. With larger valves and everything very carefully balanced, we get 275 bhp and 430 Nm. As mentioned, the torque output is above 400 Nm over a wide range of the engine rpm.


For the ultimate statement of the Rover engine, we can increase the engine to 5.0 litres (4,997 cc), and use even larger inlet valves. Maximum torque increases to 450 Nm, and maximum power to 285 bhp.


Rover V8 Engine Conversion - Defender

  • There are many other possibilities with the Rover V8, but as an example, for the 4.8 engine as described above, installed in a 2.4 or 2.2 Tdci vehicle, including a stainless steel catalyst exhaust section :

    £18,750 + VAT

    With 6-speed automatic gearbox :

    £26,650 + VAT

    For the 5.0 litre version of either of the above,
    add a further £1,300 + VAT