The Land Rover Defender range will grow with the arrival of a Defender 130 offering up to eight seats and aimed at the US, China and Middle East.
The new Land Rover Defender, despite reservations from original Defender anoraks, appears to be doing good business for Land Rover, although their is more than a suspicion that some of its sales are coming at the expense of the Land Rover Discovery.
But what is on offer from the Defender at the moment – with the Defender 90 and 110, commercial variants and a new V8 Defender – is just the start, and before long we’ll see a longer Land Rover Defender 130 going on sale.
Of course, the arrival of the Defender 130 is something we’ve expected for a couple of years after we reported JLR’s plans for the Defender in a leaked briefing, but since Land Rover revealed the new Defender there’s been nothing official on the 130 version.
According to Automotive News, JLR has now confirmed the Defender 130 is on the way, with JLR CFO, Adrian Mardell, saying “The Defender 130 will hit a sweet spot in North America, China and also the Middle East, which we’re not yet touching“.
The new Land Rover Defender 130 will keep the same wheelbase as the Defender 110 but stretch to 5.1 metres and come with seating for up to eight.
But it looks like the arrival of the 130 won’t be the last variant of the new Defender to launch, with JLR Design Head Gerry McGovern saying:
When we launched Defender, we talked about a family of Defenders: coupe, 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.
That almost sounds like a death knell for the Discovery, but JLR CEO Thierry Bollore seems to have a plan for that. He said:
We are very attentive to that in the way we are preparing the next portfolio of products. We are making sure we are stretching upwards enough and distinguishing the products and these families enough to make sure there is no confusion.
Perhaps that means Discovery moving up in to Range Rover territory and Range Rover in to Bentley’s arena?