Land Rover has revived the Hard Top name for its new Defender, with the confirmation of a new range of commercial models.
The Defender Hard Top will be available in 90 and 110 short and long-wheelbase derivatives when it goes on sale later this year, offering a cheaper, more utilitarian version of the all-new 4x4. Prices will start at £35,500 before VAT.
The Hard Top label first appeared on Land Rovers in 1950 when the firm introduced a solid removable metal cover for the exposed rear bed of the Series 1. The new model’s roof will be fixed in place and share the same outline as passenger versions of the car.
However, unlike the passenger version, the Hard Top will focus on cargo carrying and practicality. Full details of capacities and load areas are yet to be confirmed but the commercial versions of the Land Rover will feature a two-seat arrangement as standard. A third “jump seat” mounted between the front seats will be an option, as it is on the passenger car.
Michael van der Sande, managing director of Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “We will maximise the functionality and usability of New Defender’s cargo area, with tough materials and clever storage solutions to ensure it surpasses the capability of any previous Defender Hard Top.”
Both 90 and 110 versions of the Defender Hard Top will feature independent coil spring suspension, while the 110 will be available with electronic air suspension as an option. Towing capacity of up to 3,500kg mean the Defender will be a match for most pick-ups and other commercial vehicles on the market and Land Rover will equip it with the latest technology to make towing easier, including its Advanced Tow Assist system and the ClearSight technology which supplements the rear view mirror with images from a roof mounted camera.
Land Rover claims the Defender Hard Top will be the “ultimate commercial 4x4” thanks to its advanced four-wheel-drive systems, impressive ground clearance, breakover and departure angles and unrivalled wading abilities.
While the Hard Top is designed to be a tough, hard-working vehicle, the new models will share many of the latest technologies included in the passenger car. The Pivo Pro media and navigation system will offer an internet-connected touchscreen system while there will also be a suite of driver assistance systems including a 3D surround camera.
Nick Collins, Land Rover vehicle line director, said: “New Defender 90 and 110 Hard Top will be the toughest, most capable and most connected commercial 4x4s we have ever produced. They have been engineered to meet global safety standards and deliver impressive long-haul comfort, giving businesses and professionals the best of all worlds.”