The wheelbase is the same as the 110, but the body is obviously bigger.
Is it true that bigger is always better? With the impending Defender 130, spotted for the second time on Motor1.com, Land Rover will put that cliche to the test. The stretched off-roader initially appeared on our radar in August 2021, and little has changed in terms of appearance based on this latest image collection.
That is to say, this prototype still has a black/white camouflage wrap on the outside, but it’s a simple wrap with no visible false panels underneath. That’s because, except from extra cargo space in the trunk, we don’t expect the Defender 130 to differ stylistically from the Defender 90 or 110. In actuality, the wheelbase should be the same as the Defender 110 four-door. What matters most here is what happens behind the wheelbase.
On that front, this test car was caught without an external-mount spare tyre on the rear gate, allowing us to see the Defender’s massive backside without being obstructed. It’s a carbon replica of the 110’s shorter sibling, right down to the taillight design and bumper reflector placement. The muffler with two exhaust ports is in the same spot as well, albeit it doesn’t have the polished look of a production-spec component. To accommodate an extra row of seats, the body extends several inches beyond the rear wheel wheels.
It’s still unclear how that will play out in terms of space on the inside. We haven’t seen the interior, so we don’t know how much legroom the Defender’s back passengers will have. Because the roof stands tall instead of sloping at the back, headroom shouldn’t be an issue, but only if the floor isn’t lowered to make place for suspension components. The front half is believed to be unchanged from previous models. The same may be said about engine choices.
We saw this prototype in Sweden undergoing cold-weather testing, but we feel there is still a lot more testing to be done. According to our sources, the three-row Defender won’t lose its camouflage until late 2022, when it will make its debut as a 2023 model.