The Land Rover Defender could be set for a significant engine upgrade, with reports a prototype powered by a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 has been spied testing in the UK.
That's the word from London, where AutoCar is reporting a fire-breathing prototype, complete with booming quad exhaust - has been spotted.
In fact, the publication's sleuths went as far as checking the registration data for the car they spotted, and discovered it was packing a 4999cc engine, believed to be the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 used in Range Rover's SVR products.
In the Range Rover Velar AVAutobiography, that engine produces a whopping 405kW and 680Nm, which is plenty, and would mark a serious increase on the current most powerful engine - the 3.0-litre turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine - which pumps out 294kW/550Nm.
That said, production of that 5.0-litre V8 is coming to an end, and so it's more likely Land Rover are using it as a base test, with the more likely engine to be the big 5.0-litre's replacement, thought to be a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 borrowed from BMW.
Either way, those numbers will see it lob under the 430kW and 850Nm on offer in the Mercedes-AMG G63, but it would be enough to see it land on squarely on super SUV pedestal.
Still, with the project yet to be confirmed, it's conjecture at this point. But it would seem the smart money is on a monstrous Defender being in the making.