Meet Land Rover’s Replacement Defender

Defender 130 gets its Yang Wang on!

It’s enough to make a CEO weep.

Above: Thierry in happier times.

Old mate Thierry Bollore (an ex-Renault boss-fella) got his hooks into Jaguar Rover at the height of COVID and was on a mission to make Jaguar a premium luxury brand and all EV. He also couldn’t ignore the fact that Rover was dragging it’s heels too, electrification in Europe was mandated for 2035 and they had as much chance of making that deadline, as Naval Group had with getting a frog sub into ASC’s dry dock at Osborne.

Above: The real reason the Barracuda wasn’t selected is because they couldn’t park it at Osborne in the dry dock because it is only made in left-hand-drive.

Thierry was heard in an off-mic comment at a recent UK investors conference saying, “those filthy English pigs have done the dirty with that AUKUS deal and pulled the rug out from under our beautiful Shortfin Barracuda. In the spirit and in the defence of Cardinal Richelieu, I’ll make them pay with merde”.

Above: Cardinal Richilieu (1585-1642) was an early investor in Naval Group.

What Thierry was referring to was that Rover was having all sorts of trouble getting the prototype EV Defender 130 to completion, so rather than get it built in Birmingham, he did a secret squirrel with Chinese group BYD. In the back of his mind too was all this redevelopment was costing a bomb and the bean counters were counting their, errr, beans. And hurriedly. Don’t want a shareholders revolt.

Above: New Defender Yang Wang prototype looks… long.

Thierry went on, “I’ll keep them in the dark with this vehicle, MI5 won’t be able to break through the secrecy until we’ve released it and it’ll be codenamed Yang Wang”. More on that in a minute.

LMFAO Thierry, what a ripper name for the project! MI5 will be looking for clues at the local knock-shop rather than down at Silverstone!

Sadly for Thierry, MI5 did work out what was going on and he was forced to fall on a packet of his favourite Gauloises, in an attempt at self-immolation, as the enormity of Jaguar Land Rover’s off-campus prototyping and financial losses were later revealed.

Exit Thierry, enter Adrian.

Adrian Mardell is a Jaguar Land Rover journeyman, 32 years in various roles and now temporary CEO, until Carlos Ghosn can be encouraged to leave his Lebanon den and put the international extradition treaties to the test. He hasn’t got too many buddies back at Nissan and they still bey for his blood.

Above: This is THE guy to go to get the finances back in order and get a carmaker back to profitability. Carlos should be on everyone’s speed-dial.

It seems Carlos is the only auto CEO who can turn around dead ducks.

As head of finance at JLR, Adrian knew just how parlous the petty cash reserves were and knew that the only way out of this bind was to continue with Thierry’s big bold plan and get the Defender exported out of Shanghai.

Revealed in the last 24 hours is the stylish U8, err 130 Defender.

Whilst Rover was struggling to find a space to put thirteen old Exide lead-acid batteries (hence stretching the wheelbase to 130 inches so no-one would notice), the clever blokes at BYD got around that by using an 800V SiC inverter that takes hydrogen molecules from the air and through an electrostatic-osmosis process, converts it to compressed electricity that doesn’t need a battery any bigger than what you would have seen in an old Dolphin torch back in the 70s. Illuminating.

With four electric motors, one per wheel, this thing has got some grunt, reportedly offering 1100bhp, or, for we metric types, a scintillating 808kW! Fuck me!

Putting that energy to the wheels, Land Rover’s best torque-vectoring is at play through a classic Range Rover P38 constant-4WD driveline (apparently Rover had a couple of thousand P38 trannies lying around from C2000 in a shed at Birmingham, a bit dusty and lightly corroded, but just needing some new Castrol in their innards). Adrian got them shipped them over to China and washed down with some Septone Alloy cleaner and now they look brand new and they owe Rover NOTHING!

Anyway, Adrian’s stoked with the result because he knows the boys back in Birminham had no chance of conceiving something as beautiful as this and whipped together in barely three months, from clean sheet of paper to majestic 130.

Pricing is a little vague at the moment, but we saw a classified email proposing a shipped to UK price of around fifteen thousand pounds, with a RRP in your local High Street Rover showroom around one hundred to one-eighty thousand pounds depending on whether you wanted the amphibious model, or the Moon-walk option. That fat profit margin should restore Rover’s fortunes!

We’ve requested a test-drive.





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