If you prefer to share your Land Rover with 7 of yer mates while on the way to a fox hunt, the British brand will soon have just the rig for you. Set to be called the Defender 130, it’ll stretch the existing SUV by more than a few inches to make room for extra passengers.
Seeking to take as much of the off-road SUV pie as possible, Land Rover is covering all the bases with its boxy Defender. Current models include the 90 and 110, showing up as two- and four-door models respectively. The 130 will also be a four-door but will gain a healthy amount of length in order to wedge a third row of seats into the cargo area while leaving room for tea and crumpets. Land Rover has been touting this thing as an 8-seater, telling us will be a pair of three-passenger rows in addition to a brace of riders up front.
We’ll note the two-door 90 variant can be had with a bench seat in the fore quarters, an option not generally found outside of pickup trucks let alone on a premium SUV from a luxury brand, plunking a jump seat in between the driver and front passenger. Personal experience has shown this writer that whoever occupies that jump seat will forever bash their knees into the Defender’s HVAC panel, but such is the price of nostalgia.
While the tony Range Rover Sport has always been a big seller for Land Rover here on this side of the pond, it eclipsed the Defender by only about 2,200 units in calendar year 2021. This underscores the popularity of the squared-off SUV and its rugged image (one’s actual amount of off-roading will vary wildly, as we all know). Our pick of the lot is the tasty V8 model which cranks out 518 supercharged horsepower.
The new 8-seat Defender will bow in a couple weeks’ time on the last day of May month, with dealer ordering books opening at the same time. Meanwhile, here’s a cool image of an OG Range Rover from model year 1970 (in Lincoln Green, natch). Have any of you lot in the B&B ever had one as part of your wonderfully strange fleets?
[Images: Land Rover]
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