The Land Rover Defender gamble, as much as it was a gamble, is paying off handsomely for the British automaker. The model, currently offered in the two-door 90 and four-door 110 versions, features great styling and has been warmly received by critics and consumers.
The 90 version has a shorter wheelbase befitting its two-door configuration, while the four-door 110 inherits a longer wheelbase. Soon after the SUV's debut, rumours began to circulate about new variants, including a pickup truck and a version offering seven or eight seats.
Land Rover has now confirmed the arrival of the latter variant, which will be called the Defender 130. It is in preparation and will go on sale in the next 18 months.
Based on information that had previously circulated regarding the arrival of this model, the 130 will use the same 119-inch wheelbase as the 110 version. However, overall length will be greater be increased by 13 inches for a total of 201 inches, or more than 5 metres (5100 mm).
And, as mentioned, there could be other additions, including a pickup truck version. In fact, Gerry McGovern, Jaguar Land Rover's design director, suggested that more is yet to come. The company obviously wants to take advantage of the popularity of the Defender name and make it a force within the lineup.
How this fits in with other recent announcements made by the automaker remains to be seen. Recall that as part of its Reimagine strategy, Land Rovert has established an electrification plan that will be up and running quickly. At least six all-electric vehicles are scheduled to come online starting in 2024 across the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender product lines.
As a result, what's under the hood of the Defender models might well change.