Ultimate Land Rover Drag Race – New V8 vs. LS Swap vs. Tesla Power

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The restomod formula is a relatively simple one. You take the classic car body of your gearhead dreams and stuff it chock full of modern, tech-fueled goodness. The end result has that look you’ve always loved, along with modern speed, handling, and – if you did it right – braking to go along with it. On the other hand, some people believe that newer is better, and only the latest and greatest will do for them. Today, we’ll be looking at three very different Land Rover Defenders packing very different takes on the modern performance ideal.  Then … we’re going to watch the guys at CarWow drag race the f@%# out of them. (!)

Newer is Better: 2022 Land Rover Defender V8

Land Rover Defender 5.0
Image courtesy Land Rover.

In this corner (?) we have an all-new Land Rover Defender V8, which features and even more powerful 5.0 liter V8 engine producing 518 hp (in US spec.) and 625 lb-ft of TQ, as well as a thoroughly integrated traction control system and more modern all-wheel drive than the LS Swapped Arkonik. That said, the Defender V8 also weighs in at well over two-and-a-half tons (5445 lbs., to be exact, before the driver gets figured in).

American V8 Muscle: LS Swapped Defender

Arkonik Land Rover V8 LS Swap
Image courtesy Arkonik.

Next up is an Arkonik-built Land Rover Defender that’s been modernized inside and out with modern touches, but is still recognizable as an old-school LRD. The old Buick-based 3.9 liter “Rover” V8 has been swapped out, though, in favor of a thoroughly modern 6.2 liter LS3 V8 engine that’s most commonly found under the hood of a late-model Corvette. That means the Arkonik Land Rover has some 436 hp on tap (more than double the standard output the SUV originally shipped with, with lower emissions and better fuel economy to boot), and it’s putting that power to the ground through a beefy 4WD system that should make the most of the available traction.

EV Conversion Classic: Tesla Power

Finally, we have a Tesla-powered Land Rover built by Electric Classic Cars, or ECC. We’ve covered some of their work before, in an article that put their electric Ferrari 308 up against a 12-cylinder Ferrari Testarossa in an ultimate 1980s showdown. If that was any indication of how this will go, well– get ready to watch the V8s lose.

Or maybe not? Maybe the V8 powered ICE Rovers are still ahead of the curve in terms of straight-line speed. I’m not going to spoil the end results for you here, though. You’ll have to watch the video, from the guys at CarWow, below, then let us know what you thought of it in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Ultimate V8 vs. Electric Land Rover Drag Race

It’s time for an awesome 3-way Land Rover Defender drag race!

We’ve got the custom-built Arkonik Land Rover Defender going up against a Tesla-powered classic Defender and the new V8-powered Defender!

All three of these cars can perform, so let’s get to the stats! Starting with the Arkonik Defender, it’s had the old engine ripped out and it’s been replaced with a Corvette LS3! This 6.2-litre V8 means this 4×4 now puts down 436hp & 475Nm of torque! It also drives all four wheels and weighs in at around 1860kg.

Next up we have the classic Defender. The engine’s been removed and replaced by a Tesla power unit, and as a result, it can put down 500hp & 675Nm!

hose batteries are pretty heavy though, so it tips the scales at 1930kg. However, that’s nothing compared to the new Defender, which weighs in at 2471kg!! However, it’s also pretty powerful, with a 5-litre supercharged V8 under the bonnet that’ll produce 525hp & 625Nm! So… Custom, classic or new – who’s your money on?

There’s only one way to find out… LET’S RACE!

Source | Images: CarWow.


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