Land Rover has confirmed its new commercial Defender 90 and 110 models will be launched later this year and revive the “Hard Top name to its rugged 4×4 family”.

According to the venerable four-wheel drive and luxury SUV brand the new models will combine “unstoppable all-terrain capability with 21st-century connectivity to give professionals a unique combination of cargo space, practicality and premium comfort.”

The Hard Top name was first used in 1950, when the introduction of demountable Hard Tops gave early Series Land Rovers added security and protection from the elements.

Pointing to the famous fixed metal roof and silhouette, The New Defender Hard Top continues this ethos, says the company.

Land Rover says it has experienced unprecedented global demand for New Defender 90 and 110 since its successful world premiere last September with the new Hard Top models planned as the next additions to the “legendary bloodline”.

The Defender Hard Top is being developed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations to deliver “unrivalled durability, practicality and toughness,” says the company.

It also claims that the new Defender’s aluminium-intensive D7x body architecture is three times stiffer than the best body-on-frame designs; sharing its strong body structure and next-generation Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) with passenger models.

“We will maximise the functionality and usability of New Defender’s cargo area, with tough materials and clever storage solutions to ensure it surpasses the capability of any previous Defender Hard Top,” said Michael van der Sande, managing director, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.

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

Nick Collins, Land Rover Vehicle Line director, added: “New Defender 90 and 110 Hard Top* will be the toughest, most capable and most connected commercial 4x4s we have ever produced. They have been engineered to meet global safety standards and deliver impressive long-haul comfort, giving businesses and professionals the best of all worlds.”

A payload and towing capacity of up to 3,500kg and the stripped-down interior that replaces second or third-row seats, reinforces the Land Rover’s messaging that this is a vehicle intended for hard graft – although an optional front-row jump seat means it can still accommodate up to three people.

Land Rover is using its ClearSight Rear View mirror system to preserve 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.

The New Defender Hard Top will be a world-class tow vehicle, claims Land Rover, “with a raft of technologies to help hitch, drive and reverse safely while pulling a trailer. Land Rover’s intelligent Advanced Tow Assist system takes the stress out of difficult reversing manoeuvres by letting drivers steer trailers with their fingertips using a rotary controller on the centre console.”

The maximum wading depth of 900mm is also supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system, which ensures drivers can ford deep water with complete confidence – “so important supplies will always get through”.

Modern touches include Land Rover’s Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment system which provides intuitive control of all the major vehicle functions, including smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Twin eSIM technology underpins Pivi Pro and supports Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) capability, allowing customers to download updates for a variety of vehicle systems, says Land Rover.

It believes this will helps minimise time spent off the road for professionals as SOTA updates can be completed without the need to visit a Land Rover retailer.

In addition, the New Defender Hard Top models will feature a comprehensive suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Land Rover’s 3D Surround Camera system provides an 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.

“Convenience will be enhanced with the Remote smartphone app, which will allow businesses to keep track of the location, fuel level and journey history of their vehicle remotely, for ultimate peace of mind and security,” says Land Rover.