The emergence of a larger three-row Defender has been predicted for quite some time. In March 2021, Land Rover acknowledged the model's existence, and variants of the boxy SUV were spotted testing in September. Now, Land Rover has disclosed that the Defender 130, which sits above the two-door 90 and four-door, five- or seven-passenger 110 in the range, will be unveiled on May 31 and has published a teaser photograph of the 130 playing in the sand.
- Land Rover has announced that the 130, a three-row Defender, will be unveiled on May 31.
- Last March, the model was verified, and we saw it being tested in September.
- The Defender 130 will have eight seats and will be available with six and eight-cylinder engines.
The 130 was debuted with an official image of it scaling a sand dune, emphasizing its critical off-road capabilities. It also has the most sitting space of any contemporary Defender. The Defender 90 and Defender 110 have five seats as standard (two up front and a three-seat bench in the back), but the Defender 130 will include an extra row of seats, bringing the total to eight.
The original Defender 130 had a longer wheelbase, however the enlarged overhang on this new model adds 342mm to the overall length of the contemporary 110. In addition, it is 227mm longer than the Mercedes-Benz G-Class competitor. There are likely to be several engines available. A prototype car with a 3.0-litre mild-hybrid straight-six petrol engine was spotted last year.
Engine specs are also being kept under wraps until the 31 May launch, but we expect the Defender 130 to feature at least a majority of the engines seen in the current Defender 90 and Defender 110 variants. As a result, a 296bhp mild-hybrid 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six diesel, a 394bhp mild-hybrid 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six petrol, and a 399bhp P400e plug-in hybrid vehicle are expected to be part of the engine lineup. The Defender 130 could get the 518bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 seen in Land Rover's most powerful automobiles.
The 130 will compete in Europe against the Audi Q7 and BMW X7, and in the US against the Cadillac Escalade and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Land Rover has stated that order books will open on the same day as the new Defender 130 goes on sale on May 31, which means we should get pricing information soon but expected price to be around $70,000, with V-8 variants fetching well over $100,000. Purchase the vehicle of your choice and travel down the route of your choice.