The newly revealed eight-seat, three-row Defender is 13.4 inches longer than the next smallest member of the Defender family, the 110.
Power will come from a choice of two 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines.
The longer Defender will start at about $68,000.
We've known that a three-row version of the Land Rover Defender was coming for some time; the British SUV brand confirmed the project's existence last year. Now we’re looking at the reality of this substantially extended version, one that will offer three rows of seats and space for eight occupants.
The existing Defender 110 came with the option of a part-time third row, but the Defender 130 is much more spacious, offering eight seats in a two-three-three configuration. At 211.0 inches in overall length, the 130 is a massive 13.4 inches longer than the Defender 110 and 15.9 inches longer than Land Rover's other three-row SUV, the Discovery. Despite that it sits on the same 119-inch wheelbase as the Defender 110—the link between the 130 name and the gap between the axles no longer applies—with the increase in length all being in the increased rear overhang. That means usable luggage space even with all seats in use. Land Rover claims there is 13.7 cubic feet of trunk volume with the third row upright; that rises to 43.5 cubic feet with the third row folded and a panel-van-rivaling 80.9 cubic feet when the second row gets collapsed as well.
Land Rover says that the range will start at $68,000, a $14,600 supplement over the entry-level Defender 110. But while the model lineup will offer most of the same trim levels as the existing Defender, it will lack a base version. Instead, the lineup progresses through S, SE, X-Dynamic SE, and X specifications, together with a fully loaded First Edition at the top of the tree.
There won’t be a V-8 option, at least not from launch, with Land Rover saying buyers will be able to choose between two six-cylinder powerplants. Surprisingly, neither of these will be the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder P300 version that we've experienced and liked in both the 90 and the 110. Instead, Land Rover is launching the 130 with a new P300 powertrain that uses a downtuned version of the bigger 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, delivering an identical peak 296 horsepower to the four-pot, but accompanying this with a more substantial 347 pound-feet of torque. Above this, a brawnier P400 version of the same engine offers the same output as in other Land Rover applications: 395 hp and 406 pound-feet. Both engines use 48-volt hybrid assistance. It seems likely that the six-cylinder P300 will also replace the four-cylinder version in other applications.
Land Rover hasn’t released any performance figures for the Defender 130, but we can safely anticipate it will be slightly slower than the 110 given the increase in size and weight. We ran the 2020 Defender 110 P400 to the 60-mph benchmark in an impressively brisk 6.3 seconds and recorded a 14.8-second quarter-mile at 94 mph. Similarly, off-road ability should be only fractionally compromised by the increase in mass and larger rear overhang.
Land Rover says that air suspension will be standard on the Defender 130 in the U.S., which allows an increase in ground clearance by up to 2.8 inches off-road. Land Rover claims approach, departure, and ramp-over angles of 37.5, 28.5, and 27.8 degrees, respectively; the corresponding figures for the Defender 110 are 38, 40, and 28 degrees. The 35.4-inch maximum wading depth is unchanged.
The popularity of both Defender 90 and Defender 110 models makes the Defender 130 an obvious extension in the family. It certainly seems set to make the Land Rover Discovery look increasingly threadbare when compared to the Defender with its superior space and off-road prowess. It should reach customers in the U.S. before the end of the year. All that's left is for us to hope Land Rover eventually opts to combine the 130 with V-8 power.
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