2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition Promo

First drive: 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition is a stylish hit for the SUV

While it may be right to reduce greenhouse emissions by downsizing car engines, the experience of a bulky V8 engine is a given



2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 9
(Kyle Edward)

While it is right to reduce greenhouse emissions by downsizing car engines, experiencing a massive V8 engine and its unceasing roar is an experience like no other. And that’s what can be expected from the Land Rover Defender 90 V8.

V8 engine

The V8 Defender, internally nicknamed the P525, revolves around a 5.0-liter V8, supercharged with 518 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. At 2,500 rpm, the engine spits out 461 lb-ft of torque, growling loudly as the hammer drops. But the best part is that unlike most big-horsepower SUVs on long wheelbases, the Defender 90 V8 is available on a two-door chassis with a wheelbase of just 101.9 inches.

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 3
(Kyle Edward)

The D90 V8 is launched from the starting line without mercy. With the help of 275/45R-22 Continental CrossContact RX tires, it hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and 100 mph in 10.6. In 12.9 seconds and 109 mph, the Defender 90 V8 eclipses the quarter-mile mark.

On the street, you’ll have no problems overtaking other cars—shifting from 30 to 50 mph takes place in 3 seconds, while increments from 50 to 70 mph take an average of 3.6 seconds. If you’re comfortable on the throttle, the EPA says the D90 V8 can achieve 15/19/16 mpg (city/highway/mixed)—its class average.

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 7
(land Rover)

Great ride quality

The 2022 Defender 90 V8 is a tall machine that has a tendency to body roll when on the road. To counter this, the front and rear independent suspension have been tuned for a sportier driving style.

Wide, street-oriented tires are critical to stability, but air springs and adaptive dampers also play an important role in keeping all four wheels on the ground and minimizing body roll. Furthermore, Land Rover has replaced the various linkage bushings and upgraded the front and rear anti-roll bars to stiffer versions. All 5,334 pounds are distributed evenly to the front and rear axle, which helps increase stability.

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 6
(Kyle Edward)

All this balance prevents an excessively slim body when the roads twist. While this certainly isn’t a sports car begging to be pushed around canyon bends, the D90 V8 won’t complain about a bit of hustle. Standard factory tires can handle up to 0.78g of lateral acceleration. It managed better numbers than the Mercedes-AMG G63, which managed just 0.75g in the same conditions.

The Land Rover Defender 90 V8’s low-range transfer case can handle some off-roading. While the independent suspension eats up some road distortion, this Defender isn’t really at home on the road.

Carpathian style

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 8
(land Rover)

Inside, the Carpathian trim brings a blacked-out look with different dashboard combinations. The steering wheel is wrapped in a nice touch microfiber finish – just keep it clean. The standard 10-inch touchscreen should always be upgraded to an 11.4-inch unit with the Pivi pro infotainment system, with great graphics and an enhanced user experience.

Overall, Defender’s controls are straightforward and don’t take a lot of time to learn. The configurable dashboard comes loaded with various display options. The rather roomy rear legroom makes for a three-seater, complete with climate controls and USB-C ports.

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 4
(Kyle Edward)

As with any top of the range, the 2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition tends to blend all possible features and push them into the driver. The Carpathian trim definitely stands out in the crowd. The matte black paint and 22-inch starfish wheels contrast with the blue Brembo calipers.

The rear is beautifully complemented by four exhaust tips fed by dual exhaust outlets and cool V8 badging. You don’t need to be a car fanatic to know the Defender is something special when it pulls you by on a busy street.

2023 Land Rover Defender 90 V8 Carpathian Edition 2
(Kyle Edward)

While the Defender 90 V8 starts at $106,260, Carpathian Edition specifications and additional options bring the price to $114,000. It looks good, and while it doesn’t quite reach the G-Wagon’s daring levels, it makes up for it by bringing its price down by tens of thousands of dollars.

Tags: land rover land rover defender luxury suv luxury ride suv test drive

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