Engines used by the British company Land Rover in its 4×4 vehicles have included 4-cylinder petrol engines, and 4-cylinder and 5-cylinder diesel engines. 6-cylinder engines have been used for Land Rover vehicles built under licence. Land Rover have also used various 4-cylinder, V8 engines and V6 engines developed by other companies, but this article deals only with engines developed specifically for Land Rover vehicles.

Initially the engines used were modified versions of standard Rover car petrol engines, but the need for dedicated in-house units was quickly realised. The first engine in the series was the 2-litre diesel of 1957, and this design was improved, expanded and modified over several versions, culminating in the 300Tdi of 1994, which ceased production in 2006. Over 1.2 million engines in the series have been built.
From 1998 the Td5 engine was fitted to Land Rover products. Whilst this 5-cylinder turbodiesel was unrelated in any way to the 4-cylinder designs and was originally intended for use in both Rover Cars and Land Rover 4×4s it only reached production in its Land Rover form. It was produced between 1998 and 2007, and 310,000 Td5s were built.

Production of these engines originally took place at Rover’s satellite factory (and ex-Bristol Hercules engine plant) at Acocks Green in Birmingham whilst vehicle assembly took place at the main Rover works at Solihull. After Land Rover was created as a distinct division with British Leyland in 1979 production of Rover cars at Solihull ceased in 1982. A new engine assembly line was built in the space vacated by the car lines and engine production started at Solihull in 1983. The engine line at Solihull closed in 2007 when Land Rover began using Ford and Jaguar engines built at Dagenham (diesel engines) and Bridgend (petrol engines).



  • Years produced: 1990 – 1994
  • Power: 107 hp (80 kW)
  • Torque: 188 lb/ft (255 N/m)
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • Capacity: 2.5 Litres
  • Cylinders: 4

The Land Rover 200Tdi engine replaced the 2.5TD and 2.5NA engines of the 90/110, with a new strengthened engine block to rectify the 2.5TD’s problems. There was also a new cylinder head, turbocharger, intercooler and direct injection system. The 200Tdi is very similar in power to the 300Tdi, and considered to be just as powerful, however the 300Tdi is a evolution of the 200Tdi so is considered more ‘refined’. The 200Tdi is also reputed to have better engine durability and has a lower fuel consumption than the 300Tdi.

The Defender and Discovery versions are different – they have different front covers, manifolds and the turbo is located differently (Defender: high, Discovery: low). The Discovery version also produces a bit more horsepower (111hp).

Since the 200Tdi engine can be placed in a variety of Land Rovers through the years, and fact that they were only produced for 4 years, means that they are sought after engines, and demand a higher price accordingly. People have been known to downgrade from a 300Tdi to get the benefit of better fuel consumption. In real terms, there is not much to separate the engines in terms of performance, whilst the parts and systems they use can vary widely.


2.5NA Diesel

The British Army used this engine in the vast majority of the 20,000 Land Rovers it bought between 1985 and 1994.[37] A manufacturing flaw with pistons combined with Army maintenance practises (such as a tendency to over-fill the sump with oil) caused the engines to over-breathe and ingest their oil, leading to piston failure. Late military-spec engines had a centrifugal separator in the breather system, allowing excess oil to drain back to the sump. These engines were designated 13J.[38][39] These later, modified engines were the first in their class (small capacity high-speed diesels) to pass the Ministry of Defence‘s arduous 500-hour durability trial.

Layout: 4-cylinder, in-line 20-24mpg, 68hp.

2.25 Petrol

The 2.25-litre petrol was the most popular engine option right up to the mid-1980s and established a worldwide reputation for reliability and longevity.[12][16] The engine’s relatively low compression ratio and general strong design made it tolerant of poor quality fuel and oil as well as infrequent servicing. With proper maintenance these engines can easily survive more than 250,000 miles of service. This was partly due to the commonality between petrol and diesel versions making the petrol version somewhat over-engineered for the job; they retained the extraordinary strength characteristics of the diesel while being much less stressed. The only major change to the design was the fitting of a 5-bearing crankshaft in 1980, which improved bottom-end strength and refinement.[17] Despite its utilitarian origins, the 2.25-litre petrol is a quiet, smooth-running engine, and this enabled Rover to fit it to their P4 saloon car as the Rover 80.[18] Various power outputs were available for this engine depending on the compression ratio and the amount of emissions regulation equipment fitted.[12][19][20][21]

Layout: 4-cylinder, in-line 10-18mpg, 74hp.

3.5V8 Petrol

The Rover V8 began life as the Buick 215. The initial Rover version of the engine had a displacement of 3,528 cc (215.3 cu in). The bore was 88.9 mm (3.50 in) and the stroke was 71.0 mm (2.80 in). It used a sand-cast block with pressed-in iron cylinder liners, and a new intake manifold with two SU carburetors. The Rover engine was heavier but stronger than the Buick engine, with a dry weight of about 170 kg (375 lb). It was first offered in the 1967 Rover P5Bsaloon, initially making 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) at 5,200 rpm and 210 lb·ft (280 N·m) of torque at 2,600 rpm on 10.5:1 compression. With the introduction of the Rover SD1 in 1975, the engine was dramatically improved with the ‘rope’ oil seals replaced with poly[clarification needed] items and the spark plug dimensions changed.

Layout V-8 12-16mpg 158hp

NOTE (this is the easiest engine to add air conditioning to.)

Land Rover engines. (2011, December 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:18, June 28, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Land_Rover_engines&oldid=466648675

The Turbo Diesel 19J engine

The much maligned Turbo Diesel 19J engine has had so much Bad Press (and quite rightly so) BUT, the myth that it’s a piece of junk is not the reality. Having built 19J engines for the past 9 years, we think we know what we’re talking about. So, here’s how this engine got so much bad publicity and why.

This engine was the final successor to the 12J (Normally Aspirated) engine which in turn followed the 2.25 Series engine (fundamentally a post World War ll engine). It came into production in 1987 and departed at the end of 1990 (with the advent of the Defender 200tdi). Land Rovers did their bit in building a good turbo diesel version of their old ‘plodder’, but they were unaware of a piston design and material fault that only started to manifest itself after 100,000 to150,000 miles. Of course, the fabulous 200tdi engine was already on the drawing board shortly after the 19J was introduced, and made its debut in the 1989 Discovery.

The 19J problem took a while to surface (it takes a long time for a Def to do 100,000 miles!!) and the British Army renowned for beating crap out of their Defs, were running the 12J engine, so no early feedback there. By the time the 19J started to develop engine problems from cracks in the crowns of the pistons, it was too late. Land Rover had moved on and weren’t interested. So it was up to the replacement part industry to find the answer, which they did. The current replacement pistons are made of a superior aluminium alloy and even has a ‘Teflon’ type coating on the crown.

The ironic thing is that if you changed the pistons early enough, you’d have no problems; but the irony of a Land Rover (engine or whatever) is that it will just keep on going and going until it finally just breaks!! So, as the miles are being racked up in a oil burning smokey old 19J with cracked pistons (that inevitably has to meet its Maker), the poor old plodder gets bad press (not of course helped by its successor), and every body’s slagging off the 19J. Village Land supplied a rebuilt 19J engine in 2006, this engine came back to us in 2012 because the Def had slid down the side of a gulley and lost oil pressure.

When the engine was stripped, all four pistons were in perfect condition, and the engine had run perfectly up to that point, with the owner being very satisfied.