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Land Rover revives Hard Top name for Defender van

Land Rover has confirmed the new commercial Defender 90 and 110 models will restore the Hard Top name to its rugged 4×4 family.

  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
  • Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top
    Land Rover Defender Hard Top

The Defender Hard Top will be launched later this year, combining all-terrain capability with modern connectivity to give professionals cargo space, practicality and comfort.

The Hard Top name has been revitalised from Land Rover’s yesteryear and dates back to 1950, when demountable Hard Tops were first introduced. However, the new Hard Tops are not removable, despite the familiar naming.

The new Hard Top commercial range is being developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations and shares its underpinnings with the passenger-orientated Defender. This means that it will be available with the same strong aluminium-rich chassis and the firm’s latest electrification – so it should be available as a plug-in hybrid like that seen in the latest Evoque.

90 and 110 Hard Tops will both feature independent coil-sprung suspension, with electronic air suspension also available on the 110. Both set-ups offer ground clearance of 291mm, while the 110 Hard Top will have approach, breakover and departure angles of up to 38º, 28º and 40º degrees respectively (in off-road height).

Full technical details will be confirmed later this year.

Payload has not yet been announced, but towing capacity will be up to a 3,500kg maximum for a braked trailer. Land Rover’s Advanced Tow Assist system features to assist drivers in connecting a trailer, drive and reversing a trailer.

Inside, the passenger variants second and third row seating is removed, but an optional front-row jump seat means the Hard Top can still offer seating for up to three people.

Like some Land Rover and Jaguar models, the new Hard Top benefits from a rear-mounted camera that offers rearward visibility no matter what’s being carried. In addition, ADAS features include Land Rover’s 3D Surround Camera offering a top down view of the vehicle to aid visibility when manoeuvreing.

The Defender can additionally wade depths up to 900mm and is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system.

The latest Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment also features, and updates the system hugely over older Land Rover models. This system is being steadily rolled out to other Land Rover and Jaguar models, including the I-Pace, and offers control of all the major vehicle functions, and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also features over-the-air updates, which Land Rover says will help avoid needless trips to a retailer. The system features two eSIMs, meaning the vehicle can also be connected to remotely via a smartphone, allowing businesses to keep track of the location, fuel level and journey history of their vehicle.

To find out more visit: www.landrover.co.uk/defender

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Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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