Land Rover Defender 130 to launch within 18 months - report

The Defender is playing offence, with Land Rover introducing a longer version with a more spacious third row.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
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The Land Rover Defender is hardly a small SUV and already offers a third row, but there’s an even larger version coming within the next 18 months.

Automotive News reports the Defender 90 and 110 will be joined by a 130.

Plans for this higher number Defender were leaked ahead of the line’s launch in 2019 but this is the first time Land Rover has confirmed it.

It’ll use the same 3022mm wheelbase, though the total length will be extended from 4758mm to 5100mm.

For comparison, a Range Rover Sport measures 4879mm long, a Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series measures 4950mm long, a Nissan Patrol is 5175mm long, and the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L will measure 5204mm.

The longer rear will provide more room for third row occupants. The 110 currently offers an optional third row of seating though it isn’t as spacious as that of a Discovery.

Chief financial officer Adrian Mardell said on a call with investors that the 130 will boost Defender sales in markets such as North America, China and the Middle East.

Confirmation of the Defender 130 comes as Jaguar Land Rover has announced some surprising changes to its future product plans.

Over at Jaguar, the new, all-electric XJ has been axed even though it had reached the prototype testing stage.

Plans for a flagship J-Pace crossover have also been scrapped, while even Land Rover has lost a future product in the shape of an unnamed, all-electric SUV that’s been referred to as the Road Rover.

The Defender range, in contrast, has been expanding.

A week ago, Land Rover revealed the P525 V8, a new range-topping variant that packs a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque.

Land Rover also recently introduced the plug-in hybrid P400e, though it hasn’t been locked in for Australia.

It uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, a 105kW electric motor, and a 19.2kWh battery pack. Total system outputs are 300kW of power and 650Nm of torque with an electric range of 43km.

The next 12 to 18 months will be significant for Land Rover as, in addition to launching the Defender 130, it’ll introduce new generations of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

Both models will use the Modular Longitudinal Architecture that was supposed to underpin the next Jaguar XJ and which supports internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrid powertrains, and all-electric powertrains.

Beyond then, Land Rover will reveal six all-electric variants by 2026, the first of which will lob in 2024, with plans for 60 per cent of Land Rover sales to be of all-electric vehicles by 2030.

Whether the cars will be standalone electric vehicles or electric adaptations of existing models such as the Defender isn’t yet clear.

The Defender is off to a fairly strong start.

So far this year, Land Rover has sold 344 examples. That means it’s outselling the Discovery six-to-one and has even narrowly overtaken the Range Rover Sport as the best-selling Land Rover, with the Sport sitting at 335 sales.

In the last quarter of 2020, Land Rover sold 16,286 Defender models globally.

That put it behind only the Range Rover Sport and cheaper Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, and well above the 4831 sales recorded for the Discovery.

MORE: Land Rover Defender news and reviews

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William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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