There are some camouflaged test vehicles we see constantly, while others only make occasional appearances. The stretched Land Rover Defender 130 falls into that category, as this is only the third time we've caught a prototype in public since August 2021. That suggests two possible conclusions: Land Rover is working very hard to keep it a secret, or there isn't a significant amount of testing taking place.
We will leave those conclusions open for debate, as only Land Rover personnel know for sure. Based on our observations, it's possible the automaker isn't being quite as robust with the 130 testing programme. It appears to be a 110 with just a bit more body behind the rear axle. We believe the wheelbase is the same, and from what we can see of the exterior design, it's a carbon copy of the 110 from the rear doors all the way to the front. Granted, the camouflage wrap conceals small details. But overall, the 130 should just be a slightly longer 110.
Gallery: Land Rover 130 Nurburgring Spy Photos
How much longer are we talking? Rumours suggest it will add 330 millimetres (13 inches) to the overall length, offering more cargo space along with eight-passenger seating. As these photos from the Nürburgring suggest, it won't be an athletic on-road performance SUV though we do believe the supercharged V8 will be offered. Our spy sources are fairly certain this particular prototype is packing such firepower, likely the same 518-bhp (386-kilowatt) supercharged 5.0-litre mill available in other Defender trims. It might lean through the corners, but such power should give the big 130 some punch on straightaways.
The V8 won't be the only engine option. With record-high fuel prices and ever-tightening emission regulations, the Defender 130 is also expected to offer a range of gasoline and diesel options. The plug-in hybrid powertrain should come to the stretched SUV as well, though it's unclear if that will happen at launch. And for those craving a Defender with a pickup bed, we hear the 130 could make that happen.
A debut is expected later this year as a 2023 model.