Admittedly, the Defender is not a vehicle designed for drag races. In all its versions through the years, Land Rover’s toughest off-roader has always had the single mission to go to places where no other SUVs can go. Yet the team at Carwow decided it would be fun to drag race three different Defenders with very different philosophies under the hood.
This is indeed a very weird drag race. There are three cars with different powertrains, but based on the horsepower figure alone, all three can perform. There’s a stock new Defender V8, a Defender with a Tesla electric powertrain, and a highly modified Defender with an engine swap. Let’s see the numbers first.
Starting with the only stock example in this race, the new Defender V8 has a 5.0-liter supercharged engine under the hood generating a peak output of 525 horsepower (386 kilowatts) and 461 pound-feet (625 Newton-meters) of torque. Surprisingly, it’s the heaviest of the trio with a weight of 5,448 pounds (2,471 kilograms). It’s also the most powerful Defender in this drag race.
Against it, the Tesla-powered Defender relies on an electric powertrain with 500 hp (368 kW) and 498 lb-ft (675 Nm) of instant twist. Of course, it weighs a lot due to the large batteries in the floor, though it’s nowhere near the new Defender V8 at 4,255 lbs (1,930 kg).
Last but not least, there’s another V8-powered Defender, though it doesn’t have a Land Rover-sourced engine. Instead, the so-called Arkonik Defender uses the engine of a Chevrolet Corvette LS3, which means there’s a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood sending 436 hp (321 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) to all four wheels. It’s the lightest of the three contenders at 4,100 lbs (1,860 kg).
Believe it or not, this is actually a very exciting race. Even the host of the show, Mat Watson, admits this is one of the greatest drag races he’s ever had. We are not going to spoil the results, but we’ll just mention that you are probably going to be very surprised by the results.