The model was introduced in 1983 as the Land Rover Ninety and the Land Rover One Ten, the numbers representing the wheelbase in inches. The number was spelt out in full in advertising and in handbooks and manuals, and the vehicles also carried badges above the radiator grille which read "Land Rover 90" or "Land Rover 110", with the number rendered numerically. The Ninety and One Ten replaced the earlier Land Rover Series, and at the time of launch, the only other Land Rover model in production was the Range Rover.
In 1989, a third model was brought out by Land Rover to be produced in parallel with the other two: the Land Rover Discovery. To avoid possible confusion, from 1991 the Ninety and the One Ten were renamed the Defender 90 and Defender 110. These carried front badges that say "Defender", with a badge on the rear of the vehicle saying "Defender 90" or "Defender 110". The current model, from 2007, still has the space above the radiator for the badge, but this is simply blank, and they have "Land Rover" spelt out across the leading edge of the bonnet in raised individual letters. At the rear is a new '"Defender" badge with an underlining "swoosh". On these current models there are no badges defining the wheelbase model of the vehicle.
The 127-inch (3,226 mm) wheelbase Land Rover 127 available from 1985 was always marketed with the name rendered numerically. Following the adoption of the Defender name, it became theDefender 130, although the wheelbase remained unchanged.
North American Specification (NAS) Defenders sold between 1993 and 1997 said only "Land Rover" with no "90" or "110" numeric designation