Land Rover Defender Hard Top reintroduced to line-up

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Author: | Updated: 30 Jun 2020 10:51

Land Rover has confirmed the new commercial Defender 90 and 110 models will restore the Hard Top name to its rugged 4x4 family.

The versatile and durable Defender Hard Top will be launched later this year in short and long wheelbase form, combining unstoppable all-terrain capability with 21st-century connectivity to give professionals a unique combination of cargo space, practicality and premium comfort.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top

The Hard Top name dates back to 1950, when the introduction of demountable Hard Tops gave early Land Rovers added security and protection from the elements. New Defender Hard Top continues this ethos, sharing its fixed metal roof and silhouette with the iconic original.

Unique changes to differentiate the Hard Top model include a flexible cabin with no second or third-row seats; an optional front-row jump seat features instead meaning it will still accommodate up to three people. Land Rover’s clever ClearSight Rear View mirror system preserves rearward visibility when the jump seat is occupied, or when the load space is full. It uses a live video feed from a rear-facing camera to give drivers an unobstructed view at all times.

Land Rover Defender Hard Top load

The 90 and 110 Hard Tops will both feature independent coil-sprung suspension too, with advanced electronic air suspension also available on the 110 to improve the Defender’s off-road prowess and ground clearance. A 900mm wading depth and the ability to ford deep water is further aided by a special Wade mode as part of the Terrain Response 2 system.

Lease deals available on Land Rover Defender passenger model

It’s an SUV that is respectful of its past, but certainly not beholden to it: it’s a Defender for a new age. Here’s what you need to know.

Land Rover Defender

A model that is synonymous with Land Rover’s name and heritage, the Defender is an icon reimagined for the 21st century. The unmistakable silhouette is familiar yet new, retaining the iconic Defender side profile as well as the ‘Alpine’ windows in the roof and spare wheel mounted on the side-hinged tailgate. It looks tough and is tough but designed and engineered with capability and safety for all the family at its heart.

Land Rover Defender hill ascent

Based on a fresh aluminium-intensive platform called D7x, it is the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. With minimal front and rear overhangs, it provides excellent approach and departure angles and the perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension.

To this end, the new Defender has been through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.

Land Rover Defender testing

During development testing, prototype models have covered more than 1.2 million kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from the 50-degree heat of the desert and sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10,000ft in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

The new Defender will be available in 90 (three-door) and 110 (five-door) body styles, with up to six seats in the 90 and the option of five, six or 5+2 seating in the 110. The model range comprises Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and top of the range Defender X models. All models will feature an eight-speed automatic gearbox equipped with a twin-speed transmission to provide a set of low-range ratios essential for towing or off-road driving.

The entry-level Defender offers 18in steel wheels, a heated windscreen, LED lights, puddle lights, eight-way adjustable heated front seats, and the 10in Pivi Pro infotainment system. This display also incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View to show the road ahead when off-road.

Land Rover Defender rear

Defender S editions feature 19in alloy wheels, heated seats, leather steering wheel, centre console with armrest and interactive driver display. SE increases the wheel size to 20in and brings premium LED headlights with automatic levelling, blind-spot assist and keyless entry.

HSE offers a sliding panoramic glass roof, matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and a rear collision monitor. At the top of the range, Defender X gets exterior design tweaks, heated rear seats, a black contrast roof, illuminated metal tread plates, Terrain Response 2 and a head-up display.

Land Rover Defender hill descent

A variety of powertrains will be offered across the range, with efficient Ingenium petrol and diesel engines all fitted with intelligent Stop/Start technology to minimise emissions. Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technologies will join the range next year.

At launch, diesel power comes from a choice of four-cylinder D200 or D240 engines, with sequential twin turbo technology providing 430Nm of torque. The D200 delivers fuel economy of 37.2mpg and 0-60mph in 9.9 seconds, while the more powerful D240 matches the D200 for efficiency while accelerating 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds. Both provide competitive CO2 emissions of 199g/km.

Land Rover Defender wading

Those opting for petrol will be able to choose between a turbocharged four-cylinder P300 engine and an efficient six-cylinder P400 mild-hybrid. The 300hp unit uses an advanced twin-scroll turbo for smooth performance and efficiency, accelerating from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds with CO2 emissions as low as 227g/km.

The state-of-the-art mild-hybrid powertrain uses energy normally lost during deceleration with the in-line six-cylinder Ingenium petrol featuring both a conventional twin-scroll turbocharger and an advanced 48-volt electric supercharger. In combination, these provide 400hp and 550Nm of torque, 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds and fuel consumption of 29.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 220g/km.

Land Rover Defender interior

On the inside, the Defender mixes the durability of the previous model and introduces Jaguar Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system for a wider appeal. The 10in touchscreen promises to be more intuitive and user-friendly and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, while a 12.3in digital instrument panel is standard across the range. All Defenders will feature over-the-air upgrades. A waterproof and wearable Activity Key watch will also be available and works independently of the state-of-the-art fob, allowing customers to lock and unlock the new Defender from their wrist

The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, with the five and six-seat Defender 110 offering 1,075 litres of luggage space, expanding to 2,380 with all seats folded.

Land Rover Defender lead

Prices for the new Defender start at £45,240 for the D200 Defender 110 featuring a 2.0-litre 200hp diesel engine. This rises to £78,800 for a P400 X 110 featuring a 3.0-litre 400hp mild-hybrid petrol engine.

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