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2023 Land Rover Defender 130 V8 Spied, Rear Overhang Looks Massive

Back in the olden days, 130 used to mean 127 inches (3,225 millimeters) between the front and rear axles. The current Defender, which features a unibody rather than a body-on-frame setup, is due to receive a 130, although there’s no difference in wheelbase compared to the 110.
2023 Land Rover Defender 130 V8 18 photos
Photo: Stefan Baldauf / SB-Medien
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We know that we’re dealing with nearly 119 inches (3,022 millimeters) since July 2019, thanks to a leaked presentation of the Defender lineup.

The presentation further states the model year 2022, although that Land Rover delayed the 130 to 2023 due to the health crisis. As opposed to the 5-, 6-, and 7-seat configurations of the 110, the 130 will be offered with 8 seats. Described as a premium explorer, the largest Defender from the current generation targets families and travel-oriented peeps with active lifestyles.

Last but certainly not least, Land Rover mentions three powertrains in the aforementioned presentation: D300 turbo diesel, P400 turbo gasoline, and P400e turbo gasoline plug-in hybrid. Not surprisingly, anyone, the British automaker, will sweeten the deal with a new option in the guise of a V8.

Spied for the first time, the 130 in the photo gallery can be seen testing near and at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Gifted with four exhaust pipes, the camouflaged prototype is a right-hand-drive car with British plates fore and aft. Equipped with a ZF 8HP torque-converter automatic transmission, the Defender 130 V8 does raise a question: what V8 does it really have?

The most obvious answer is the P525, a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 borrowed from Jaguar. Yet it’s a very old lump, a member of the AJ-V8 family that premiered with a displacement of 4.0 liters in 1997 in the XK8 and XJ8.

Sooner rather than later, hearsay suggests that the Defender will follow in the Range Rover’s footsteps with BMW power. More specifically, the N63 twin-turbo V8 with 4.4 liters of displacement. In the full-size luxury SUV, Land Rover quotes 523 ponies and 553 pound-feet (750 Nm) of torque.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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