70 years after its first Defender Hard Top, Land Rover is reintroducing this utility version of its 4 × 4 Defender.

Chic and expensive, the new Defender? Let’s admit that the intentions of the English manufacturer, now owned by the Indian Tata have changed somewhat since the release of the first Land, re-interpretation of the English-style Jeep Willys, with its ladder frame and its aluminum body from of aeronautics. If the brand has very clearly become gentrified in recent decades, it does not forget what made its strength; its exceptional crossing capacities and generous interior space. The Defender launched at the end of 2019, if it follows in the footsteps of the first copy launched after the War, suffers from already high prices (basic, sold 51,600 euros including tax) and hammered by a disadvantageous taxation for professional use.

It then lacked a simpler, more essential and more functional version to venture into impassable terrain and be able to be loaded without worrying too much about the consequences of heavy loading. With this Hard Top version, English is thus trying to win back professionals, not only farmers but also working all year round in the mountains or in the forest.

A real 4 × 4 van

Two versions are available, the 90 Hard Top (3 doors) as well as the 110 Hard Top (5 doors). Both offer only two seats, with an optional third folding seat, which allows these two models to be truly classified as CTTE utility vehicles. For companies, this translates into the possibility of recovering VAT (under conditions) and of being exempt from TVS (Tax on Company Vehicles) or an ecological penalty. The rear cargo space, separated from the passenger compartment by a partition, is particularly robust because it is streamlined and can accommodate up to 1,355 and 2,059 liters respectively.

By integrating a lockable housing under the floor and studying a specific partition, the experts at Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations have used every possibility to increase the volume and practicality of the Defender. The full-width floor has up to six anchor points, thick water-washable rubber mats and a series of lockable housings, providing up to 58 liters of under-floor storage. rear of these two models. Additional under-floor space is available on the 110 Hard Top, in the location that usually accommodates the feet of passengers, reserving concealed storage of 155 liters, and the entire cargo area benefits from five times more lighting. stronger than the passenger compartment of Defenders.

The Defender Hard Top’s cargo space is accessed through the rear door, hinged to the side, while the rear side doors, on the 110 version, are practical for carrying the smallest parcels placed in the front without having to separate the entire load. The inner face of these rear doors have a very slim profile, aiming to optimize the load space. If necessary, the Defender 110 Hard Top can accommodate cargo in Euro Palette standard thanks to its wide rear opening. The maximum load length can reach 1.472 mm on the 110 and the anchor points allow loads to be securely tied down. The customer can if he wishes to customize the exterior side panels of the Defender Hard Top in his company colors. Various accessories and roof galleries are also available.

6 cylinders only

The Defender 90 Hard Top is only available with the 200 hp and 500 Nm Ingenium diesel D200 inline six-cylinder engine. Same number of cylinders for the 110 Hard Top model, which offers the option of opting for the 249 hp D250 version. and 570 Nm and the D300 version of 300 horsepower and 650 Nm. Compliant with RDE2 and Euro 6d-Final standards, these engines feature light hybridization technology (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle: MHEV) for their performance and efficiency. The 48V system collects the energy usually lost during deceleration and braking and directs it to a battery located under the rear floor. This energy is then redeployed to add torque in stop & start mode, which makes driving smoother and more economical according to English. All use the latest version of Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (iAWD) with power distribution.

Preserved capacities

In this version, the Defender is an outsider by offering a true all-wheel drive associated with a high ground clearance (291 mm max) and angles of attack, peak and flight of 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively. It’s about going where other utility vehicles can’t. It thus ranks between a van with enhanced traction and a pick-up. This vehicle is equipped with independent wheels and base coil springs but can benefit from an optional electronically controlled air suspension on the 110 version. It can cross 900 mm deep fords, with the help of the ‘Wade’ program, integrated into the Terrain Response 2 system, which guarantees the driver to cross flooded roads or tracks with an ease that has always characterized it for 70 years. The Defender offers a towing capacity of 3,500 kg. The spare wheel returns to the rear, attached to the rear door.

Four finishes to choose from

Buyers of the Defender 110 Hard Top will not be disappointed. They can choose from four finishes: Defender, S, SE and HSE. These offer a whole range of refinements, both outside and inside, and a wide choice of rims. The SE gets grained leather upholstery, the HSE gets Windsor leather seats. The Land Rover Pivi Pro infotainment system and its touchscreen make it possible to control the main functions of the vehicle, for example connecting a smartphone, via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Dual eSIM technology, built into Pivi Pro, enables Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) connection, which provides remote updating of most driver assistance and infotainment software. For those using the Defender Hard Top in a professional setting, this minimizes shop downtime as SOTA updates can be installed without going through a visit to the Land Rover dealership.

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All new Defender Hard Top offers a host of driver assistance technologies, including the Land Rover 3D Panoramic Camera System which allows viewing of the surroundings on the center screen, helping the driver to maneuver safely in tight spaces , or to park precisely near the objects to be loaded.

To improve rearview – even if the cargo space is full up to the roof or if a third passenger occupies the optional central folding seat – the Land Rover ClearSight Rear View system camera continuously displays images from the rear: activate a switch on the back of the central mirror.

Convenience is taken a step further with the Remote smartphone app, which lets you know the position, fuel level and progress of the vehicle from the office, ensuring an additional degree of safety and peace of mind.

The Defender 90 Hard Top is available from 45,916 euros HT and the 110 Hard Top starts at 52,500 euros HT.

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