New Land Rover Defender 130 V8: 493bhp eight-seater breaks cover

The Land Rover Defender V8 can now be ordered in more versatile 130 form, costing from £116,845

Land Rover has stretched its new Defender in all directions, with the reborn icon available in workman-like Hard Top spec, thunderous V8 guise and everything in between. The latest addition to the range is a V8 version of the Defender 130, giving the extended eight-seat SUV a newfound level of firepower. 

This isn’t the first time JLR’s ubiquitous 5-litre supercharged V8 has been wedged into the nose of a Defender, of course, with the 90 and 110 versions receiving the same treatment already. But while the V8 generates 518bhp in those smaller models, the 130 is slightly neutered with 493bhp and 450lb ft of torque. Still, that should be ample for what is a utilitarian off-roader at heart - albeit one that can launch from 0-62mph in 5.7sec. Drive is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF gearbox. 

The 130 V8 can run on to a 149mph top speed, although this is capped at 119mph if you opt for 20-inch wheels rather than the standard 22-inch items (not that many customers will, we suspect). Weighing a substantial 2670kg - up by 67kg from the 110 V8 by virtue of the eight-seater's longer rear overhang - the forces at play in the 130 V8 are immense, and as such, beefier brakes with six-piston calipers and 380mm discs up front have been installed. 

The Defender's usual suite of chassis technology comes as standard, with an electronic rear differential, torque vectoring by braking, and a two speed transfer box with high and low ratios. Adjustable air suspension is also included, along with Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 off-road program to tailor the car to specific surface conditions. 

At £116,845, the 130 V8 commands a £15,755 premium over the Ingenium straight-six-powered Defender X P400, but there's a host of kit included in the asking price. The firm's Pivi Pro infotainment system is accessed through an 11.4-inch touchscreen on the dash, and there's a Meridian surround system, four-zone climate control and a 360-degree parking camera, among other niceties. As with other Defender 130s, buyers can opt for an eight seat configuration or a five seat layout with a bigger boot at no extra cost.

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