Is bigger always better? Land Rover will put that cliche to the test with the forthcoming Defender 130, spied here for just the second time on Motor1.com. The stretched off-roader first hit our radar back in August 2021, and judging by this new image set, little has changed in terms of appearance.
By that, we mean this prototype still wears a black/white camouflage wrap over the outside, but it's a basic wrap without any obvious faux panels underneath. That's because we don't expect the Defender 130 to differ in terms of styling from the 90 or 110, save for more junk in the trunk. In fact, the wheelbase should be identical to the four-door Defender 110. It's what comes behind the wheelbase that matters most here.
Gallery: Land Rover Defender 130 New Spy Photos
On that front, this test vehicle was caught without an external-mount spare tire on the rear gate, giving us an unobstructed view of the Defender's chunky backside. It looks like a carbon copy of the shorter 110, right down to the taillight design and the positioning of reflectors in the bumper. The muffler with dual exhaust outlets holds the same position as well, though this particular part doesn't have the look of a finished, production-spec component. As for the body, it extends several inches beyond the rear wheel wheels to accommodate an extra row of seats.
Exactly how that plays out inside in terms of space is still a mystery. We've yet to glimpse the interior so legroom for rearmost passengers in the smallish Defender is unknown. Headroom likely shouldn't be an issue since the roof stands tall instead of sloping at the rear, but only if the floor isn't lifted to make space for suspension components. The front half is expected to carry over from other models without changes. The same holds true for engine options.
This prototype was caught in Sweden undergoing cold-weather testing, but we believe there's quite a bit of testing still to come. Our sources say the three-row Defender won't lose its camouflage until late in 2022, debuting as a 2023 model.