Land Rover isn’t resting on its laurels following the unveil of the new Defender. A larger, eight-seat 130 trim is in the pipeline to sit above the 90 and 110 variants. The Defender 130 will be revealed in the second half of next year before launching in 2021.
Despite the badge, the 130 will share its basic chassis geometry with the 110. Since no costly platform extension is required, Land Rover will only extend the car’s rear overhang to accommodate up to eight seats. At around 5.1 metres long, it will be 342mm longer than 110 and just 50mm shorter than the BMW X7.
Land Rover hasn’t officially declared the 130 moniker, but the car is described internally as the ‘premium explorer’ aimed at large, active families who like to travel. The 130 carries on its shoulders Land Rover’s goal to gain a footing in the high-end, high-margin off-roader segment.
Dominated by models such as the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, the segment could lend a new personality to the Defender, that of a luxurious go-anywhere SUV. The Defender 130 could help Land Rover boost its share in SUV-favouring markets such as China and the USA.
The Land Rover Defender 130 will build upon the existing 110, adding length, luxury, and more seating to contend in the luxury SUV space.
The British carmaker’s Special Vehicle Operations division is already at work, turning the once-basic off-roader into an ultra-high-spec automobile. SVO’s various Range Rover spin-offs are likely to provide the inspiration for a new line of luxury Defenders. This would allow the firm to capitalise on the lucrative high-power, high-price off-road vehicles, where cars like the Mercedes-AMG G63 exist.
The previous Land Rover Defender was renowned for its versatility, offering as many as up to 138 body types. One of the popular styles was the Defender pickup. While the new model will spawn a lot of variants, it is unlikely that a pickup option will be available for now.
Land Rover is not currently offering a Defender pickup as costs are unfeasible, but affirms that both the 110 and 130 offer enough cargo space and versatility.