Developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the Defender Hard Top now offers customers a commercial vehicle in both 90 and 110 body designs
Finally the Defender we’ve been waiting for… A flexible interior layout combined with a hard-wearing rear load bay and off-road ability. Boasting a payload of up to 800 kg (on the 110) and a towing capacity of up to 3500 kg the Defender Hard Top could prove a viable alternative to the commercial 4x4 versions of the Mitsubishi Shogun Sport or Toyota Land Cruiser .
Engines and chassis
The Defender Hard Top powertrain line-up includes Land Rover’s range of in-line six-cylinder Ingenium diesel engines including the D200 on Defender 90 (producing 197 bhp and 369 lb-ft of torque), and the D250 (246 bhp and 420 lb-ft) and D300 (296 bhp and 479 lb-ft) on the 110, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with twin-speed transfer box.
A choice of suspension options is also available, with independent coil suspension standard on both 90 and 110 Hard Top models, and advanced Electronic Air Suspension available for 110 Hard Top. Should you need to take your Hard Top off-road ground clearance is 291 mm with a wading depth of up to 900 mm and approach, breakover and departure angles of up to 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively (in Off-Road Height on the 110).
With no second or third-row seats, the Defender 110 Hard Top offers a load area of up to 2059 litres (1355 litres for the 90), while the option of the first-row jump seat means it can take up to three occupants in the front. Two stowage nets on the cabin side of 110 models are ideal for small items, while an additional underfloor area, where the footwells of the Defender passenger model would normally be found, provide 155 litres of hidden stowage.
The load area (which is five times brighter than the standard passenger Defender) is full of clever storage solutions so users can maximise the space on offer, including hooks, lashing points to the load floor, a set of lockable storage areas providing 58 litres of underfloor stowage, heavy duty rubber mats and a full bulkhead partition for security and safety.
The Hard Top’s load area is accessed via the side-hinged rear tailgate, while the rear side doors on 110 variants boost practicality and give customers the flexibility to access smaller items located towards the front without the need to move bulky objects out of the way.
Customers can add bespoke signage to the Defender Hard Top's iconic silhouette, thanks to the Exterior Signage Panel behind the front row of seats that runs to the rear of the vehicle, while a variety of roof racks and accessories provide added scope for load carrying.
Specifications and technology
110 Hard Top customers can choose from four specifications: Defender, S, SE and HSE. These provide a range of exterior and interior enhancements and wheel choices, including Taurus upholstery on SE and Windsor leather seats on HSE.
Land Rover’s state-of-the-art Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment provides immediate and intuitive control of all the major vehicle functions (including smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), and it supports Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) capability. For professionals using the Defender Hard Top for business, this will minimise time spent off the road as updates can be completed without the need to visit a Land Rover retailer.
All New Defender Hard Top models feature a comprehensive set of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. This includes 3D Surround Camera as standard providing all-round visualisation of the vehicle on the central touchscreen, helping drivers manoeuvre safely in tight spaces or position the vehicle close to items ready for loading.
Land Rover’s ClearSight Rear View camera (option) provides an uninterrupted view out the rear of the vehicle at the flick of a switch on the bottom of the rear-view mirror, even if the rear load space is full.
Convenience is enhanced further with the Remote smartphone app, which will allow businesses to keep track of the location, fuel level and journey history of their vehicle from afar – this is a far cry from the 1950 original alright!
It may be packed with gadgets but it’s still every bit as capable. It will wade through water up to 900 mm deep for example, assisted by the Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system making light work of flooded roads. Land Rover’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is also instrumental in enabling customers to go anywhere. The new intelligent driveline system uses sensor data from driver inputs and vehicle surroundings to continually vary axle torque and deliver it to where it’s needed. As well improving traction and on-road dynamics, it also contributes to lower CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy.
New Defender Hard Top commercial variant will arrive later this year and the 90 is priced from £35,820 OTR (ex. VAT) in the UK, and the 110 Hard Top from £43,012 OTR (ex. VAT).
Did you know that you can now get access to Land Rover Monthly’s fully searchable digital library dating back to May 2015 and including all future issues? Use the search bar below to find buying guides, tests, reviews, tech advice and more: