New six-pot diesel Land Rover Defender spotted testing

Land Rover continues to expand the Defender range with a new mild-hybrid 3.0-litre unit.

Just after a petrol V8 Defender was caught testing near Land Rover’s base at Gaydon, our spy photographer has caught the first six-cylinder diesel test mule.

Although the new shots only show a rear-side angle of the four-wheel drive, the prototype’s number plate reveals the mule uses a mild-hybrid 3.0-litre diesel engine.

The first sighting follows a document leaked last year that revealed Land Rover’s intent to offer a six-pot engine as the sole diesel option for the Defender in the US market.

As Automotive Daily understands, Jaguar Land Rover is well into developing diesel versions of its latest Ingenium straight six as part of a modular engine family. Set to be badged D300, the Defender is expected to receive a 221kW version as the units gradually roll out across both brands. The fact that it’s registered as a mild hybrid fits into this.

The leaked document claimed a 7.4sec 0-100km/h time, although it’s not clear if this is for the Defender 90 or 110. It’s expected that the engine will roll out in the US towards the end of this year and potentially find its way into the Australian line-up later.

The six-cylinder diesel option will sit above the current diesel offerings: the four-cylinder D200 and D240, which offer up 147kW and 177kW respectively. It should also offer substantially more torque than the 430Nm the four-cylinder units offer. A further variant to be introduced, likely in early 2021 or before, will be a petrol plug-in hybrid model expected to be badged P400e.

Lawrence Allan

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