Jaguar Land Rover executives have confirmed a new three-row, 130-badged body style will be added to the Defender range in the coming months.
According to Automotive News Europe, the “long-body” 130 model will hit the market within the next 18 months.
The 130 will slot in above the three-door 90 and five-door 110 body styles, sharing its wheelbase with the latter. However, the new 130’s body is expected to grow in length by as much as 342 mm to measure a whopping 5 100 mm from nose to tail. The resulting extra space will allow the fitment of a third row of seats, taking the total to either seven or eight.
“The Defender 130 will hit a sweet spot in North America, China and also the Middle East, which we’re not yet touching,” Jaguar Land Rover chief financial officer Adrian Mardell said during a recent call with investors.
In February 2021, a Land Rover executive hinted the British firm was considering building a Defender-based bakkie. And now Jaguar Land Rover head of design Gerry McGovern suggested the Defender family would indeed continue to grow.
“When we launched Defender, we talked about a family of Defenders: coupé, five-door [and now] 130. We are looking at what we can do with that brand because with relatively small investment we can increase its appeal. I’m absolutely convinced Defender will become a power brand in itself.”
Land Rover also recently added a V8 option to its Defender line-up, rolling out the 386 kW supercharged 5,0-litre petrol unit to both the short-wheelbase 90 and long-wheelbase 110 body styles.