September 10, 2003
Land Rover retires venerable V8 engine
Solihull, England – The V8 engine found in Range Rovers and the Land Rover Discovery trucks is being retired. Land Rover is auctioning its entire V8 engine line in Solihull, England. Major components of this facility were installed between 1975 and 1997, including equipment for producing blocks, cranks, cylinder heads, crankshafts, connecting rods, engine assembly metalworking and machine tools.
The 4.6-litre V8 engine found in the 2003 Land Rover Discovery is based on an engine originally developed by General Motors. Designed in the late 1950s, the all-aluminum 215 cubic inch (3.5-litre) engine was originally used in various Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick lines (Tempest, F85, Special) starting in 1961.
Subsequently, GM returned to iron-block motors and sold the 215 V8 to England’s Rover. There it found a home in the 1968 Rover 3500 (P6), a derivative of the innovative Rover 2000, both of which were exported to Canada.
Additionally, the engine was used in the Morgan Plus 8, the Triumph TR8, the Rover SD-1, the MGB-GT V8, TVR, Land Rover Discovery and the Range Rover, where it soldiered on in 3.9, 4.0, 4.2 and 4.6-litre versions.
The engine formed the basis for Jack Brabham’s Formula 1 world championship Brabham Repco V8 in 1966.
The current Range Rover now uses a BMW derived, 4.4-litre V8 engine, and the Discovery uses the 4.6-litre GM-Rover V8, taken from last year’s Range Rover.
Reports suggest a move to Jaguar power for both vehicles, likely in 2005.