Extended Defender to land in 2023
Land Rover is readying a longer version of its Defender aimed squarely at the U.S. Dubbed 130, the larger Landie will seat seven and is set to go on sale within 18 months.
The firm’s Chief Financial Officer Adrian Mardell confirmed in a call to investors, “The Defender 130 will hit a sweet spot in North America, China, and also the Middle East, which we’re not yet touching.”
Unlike the original Defender the number in the name no longer matches the car’s wheelbase. The new model’s stretch will take place behind the rear axle and will increase the car’s length to 201 inches from 187 inches to accommodate a third row of seats. As much as we’d love this to be a pair of sideways benches, given the Defender’s upmarket move it’s more likely to be a pair of conventional forward-facing seats to take a couple of extra kids to soccer practice.
As the car is targeted at the U.S., China, and the Middle East, where emissions rules are not as harsh as Europe, we expect the latest supercharged V-8 to be installed, although clearly the Defender’s mild-hybrid and PHEV powertrains would also be offered for those wanting extra space without the extra pace.
The new Defender is already a hit, following behind the Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, and Sport in the sales charts and being crowned the Supreme Winner of the Women’s World Car of the Year Awards. Adding a new dimension to the Defender can only aid its success in markets where larger vehicles dominate the roads.