An intriguing Land Rover Defender prototype has been filmed on the streets of the U.S. – and it could be a diesel variant.
In Europe, the new Defender is available with a 3.0-liter inline-six diesel engine producing 300 hp and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. Thanks to these impressive figures, we suspect it will prove to be quite popular. As it stands, however, there is no diesel available stateside.
Instead, U.S. buyers can only purchase the Defender with two petrol powertrains. Sitting at the base of the range is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 296 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm), while sitting above it in the range is a 3.0-liter mild-hybrid inline-six with 395 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm).
This prototype recently spied by the guys over at TFLnow is unique from either of these petrol models because it has two tailpipes on the left, whereas the current U.S. models have an exhaust on either side of the rear. Additionally, diesel models sold in Europe have the same twin tailpipe setup as this prototype. The real tell to know if this is indeed a prototype would have been if its engine could be heard at idle or while accelerating but, unfortunately, it was simply spotted cruising on a highway.
Will the United States get a diesel variant of the Defender? While it’s possible, we’re not holding our breath, as the U.S. doesn’t have the same appetite for diesel-powered vehicles as Europe. We wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility, though.