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New 2022 Land Rover Defender Facelift testing Started, Launch Soon

As Land Rover prepares to unveil the largest and most luxurious version of its reborn Defender 4×4, our spy photographers have captured a test mule with an aggressive quad-exit exhaust, confirming that the range-topper will be powered by a V8 engine.

The new Land Rover Defender 130 has been spotted testing several times in the months leading up to its reveal, and patent images have already provided a good look at its final design, but this is the first time we’ve seen strong signs of a V8 model.

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It will likely get a chassis overhaul from JLR’s Special Vehicles division to go with its extra power, just like the existing Land Rover Defender V8 – which was launched last year in 90 and 110 versions – but it’s unclear whether it will use the same ‘AJ’ 5.0-liter supercharged V8 as those cars, or the BMW-derived twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter unit as the new Land Rover Range Rover. The former would result in 518bhp, a 0-62mph time of around 5.5 seconds, and a top speed of around 145mph, whereas the latter would increase power to 523bhp and improve acceleration to match the most powerful Range Rover.

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

This extended-wheelbase model will be the Defender’s third body style, positioned as a luxury flagship to compete with the Audi Q7 and BMW X7 in Europe, as well as segment stalwarts like the Cadillac Escalade and Jeep Grand Wagoneer in the United States.

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The model was previously spotted near Land Rover’s Warwickshire headquarters. Before sketches posted to a European intellectual property website revealed the longer car’s basic design, the two sightings provide a close look at its final styling and an indication of its readiness for production.

Although a precise launch date for the range-topping Defender has yet to be confirmed, a leaked internal presentation revealed it will arrive in 2022 with eight seats, one more than the current five-door model, ahead of the 2019 unveiling of the Defender 90 and Defender 110.

The Defender 130 will be positioned as the “premium explorer,” while the 90 will be the “halo, image icon,” and the 110 will be the “definitive Defender.” As a result, it’s likely to command a significant price premium over other Defender models and will only be available in top-end trim levels.

While the original Defender 130 had a longer wheelbase than the 110, the new car’s longer footprint is due to a visibly increased rear overhang, bringing the total length to 5.1m, which is 342mm longer than the 110 and 227mm longer than the rival Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

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The prototype was fitted with Land Rover’s new mild-hybridized 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, which produces 355bhp and has a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds in the Discovery. Diesel and plug-in hybrid versions are also expected to be available.

An open-backed pick-up truck variant to compete with the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi L200 is also expected, according to Autocar last year.

Land Rover’s executive director of vehicle programs, Nick Collins, told Autocar that a Defender pick-up “had no structural limitations” and hinted at the possibility of such a model by recalling the company’s previous plans to market the Defender as a “family” of models.

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