The Land Rover Defender Hard Top: new levels of cool for hard hat wearers?
The Hard Top name is back in business. Tree surgeons and wealthy farmers, rejoice
Need a commercial vehicle, but fed up of the usual white van? Want to rock up to Greggs in something a bit more flash than a Vivaro? You’ll be very pleased to see the new Land Rover Defender Hard Top.
Oh yes, we saw it at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, and now we've got a few more details. First up, there's the news Land Rover is bringing back the Hard Top name, which dates back to the 1950s. Demountable Hard Tops gave early Series Land Rovers a bit more protection from the howling gales and pouring rain everyone else had to put up with.
The new Hard Top shares the fixed metal roof and silhouette with the iconic original, according to a person at Land Rover who may or may not have seen a Series I before...
You can even use it as a giant, expensive table
Bringing in the big guns
The new Defender Hard Top is being developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, apparently to deliver 'unrivalled durability, practicality and toughness'. Grr.
There will be both a 90 and 110 model coming out, with white steelies (love!), coil springs, or advanced electronic fancy air suspension available on the 110. Both will of course be super equipped for off-roading (would you expect anything less from a Defender?), with a ground clearance of 291mm. More tech specs will be released later on this year.
Load it up
If you spend your days tugging large loads around, the Defender Hard Top will happily help out, with a towing capacity of 3,500kg and Land Rover's Advance Tow Assist system.
There's no second or third-row seats – that's for loading work things – but there's an optional front-row jump seat, so you can squeeze up to three people in there.
And with the ClearSight Rear View mirror system, you'll still be able to see out the back, even if Barry won't move his head out the way.
If you have to drive through wet stuff for your job, you'll probably want to know the max wading depth is 900mm, and the car will have a new Wade programme to help you out in soggy situations.
As well as all the usual infotainment kit from the non-van Defender, you get over-the-air software updates, a load of advanced driver assistance systems, and a remote smartphone app, meaning you can keep an eye on where you left your Hard Top on your 1,000-acre farm.
You’d be pretty unstoppable in this thing, but you will need a decent wedge of cash before you can take on the world (the Yorkshire Dales). This is the Defender the MOD wishes it could afford... looks like the Land Rover Defender Hard Top will cost around £35,500 (plus VAT), and will be available to order later in 2020.