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Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Land Rover Defender Hard Top van version revealed

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Land Rover has revived a name from the past for the commercial vehicle version of the new Defender: Hard Top.

Offered in both 90 and 110 guise, the new Defender Hard Top will go on sale later in 2020.

Land Rover suggests prices will begin from £35,500 + VAT.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

The Hard Top name was first used in 1950 when Series Land Rovers gained a removable hard top. The new version, adds the firm, is a fixed metal roof.

It is being developed by the firm’s Special Vehicle Operations division to deliver “unrivalled durability, practicality and toughness”.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

MD Michael van der Sande said: “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.”

A payload of up to 3,500kg will be available, with coil spring suspension as standard. Defender Hard Top 110s will offer optional air suspension.

Land Rover Defender 110 Hard Top

Inside, there are no second or third row seats but the Defender’s clever optional front-row ‘jump seat’ in the middle means it can seat up to three – just like a real van.

Unlike a back-to-basics van, Land Rover Pivi Pro infotainment will be available, complete with software-over-the-air updates. Good news for businesses, says Land Rover, as it will minimise downtime.

Full details of the new Defender Hard Top will follow later this year, adds the firm: ordering will open before 2020 is out.

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Land Rover puts Defender to work for emergency services

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

Land Rover has joined the effort to combat coronavirus. The British carmaker is donating a fleet of 150 new Defenders to emergency services around the world.

Some are destined for long-time Land Rover partner charity, the Red Cross.

The cars will be put to use delivering medicine and food to elderly and vulnerable people in the UK, Spain, France and beyond.

The British Red Cross will receive 57 vehicles from Land Rover, including 27 new Defenders.

ALSO READ: New Land Rover Defender revealed: the headline facts

The cars are in addition to Jaguar Land Rover’s efforts in terms of 3D printing. It’s among a number of UK companies, including car manufacturers, contributing research and resources to the production of ventilators.

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

“The health and safety of our employees, customers and their families remain our priority,” said Finbar McFall, Jaguar Land Rover customer experience director.

“Jaguar and Land Rover will do everything we can to support people in need around the world. Our partnership with the Red Cross goes back 65 years and we will work hand in hand with them to do all we can during this global health emergency.

“We will also provide help to those closer to home in our local communities. We can all play a part in helping the vulnerable during this global pandemic.”

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

Like a member of the Royal family, the Defender’s lineage almost demands that it puts a shift for the services. Its predecessor was, for decades, the backbone of many organisations in the UK and around the world.

Land Rover has been working with the Red Cross for more than 65 years, and Defenders have been invaluable in response efforts over the years.

Jaguar Land Rover Red Cross coronavirus

“This unprecedented global health emergency requires us all to pull together,” said Simon Lewis, head of crisis response at the British Red Cross.

“As part of the British Red Cross response to coronavirus, we’re delving deep into the heart of communities across the UK to help strengthen support for the most vulnerable people through delivering essential food parcels and medicines to those unable to get out.”

Land Rover Defender 90 to cost from £40,290

Land Rover Defender 90 price revealed

The three-door Land Rover Defender 90 is now on sale, with prices from £40,290. This follows the launch of the five-door Defender 110, which is experiencing ‘unprecedented demand’ at dealers. 

For those wanting to put their Defender to work, there will also be a commercial derivative. It will cost from around £35,000 when it joins the range later in 2020.

The Defender 110 has apparently been customised on Land Rover’s online configurator 1.21 million times.

Land Rover Defender 90 price revealed

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Contrary to the rugged image of the Defender, the most popular accessory pack in those configurations was Urban. It joins Explorer, Adventure and Country as one of four flavours of Defender that buyers can choose.

More than 35 percent of configurations were the Urban spec. Perhaps the Mercedes-Benz G-Class should be worried.

Land Rover Defender 90 price revealed

“We have experienced unprecedented demand for new Defender 110 and the official introduction of Defender 90 is sure to boost interest,” said Finbar McFall, Land Rover global product marketing director. 

ALSO READ: 2020 Land Rover Defender to feature all-new Pivi Pro infotainment

“If our experience with the Defender 110 is anything to go by, we can expect over half of customers to opt for one of the four accessory packs, making new Defender the most accessorised and personalised Land Rover we have ever produced.”

Land Rover Defender 90 price revealed

If you like the idea of the cheaper, smaller 90, but worry about practicality, fear not. Although it only has two traditional doors, it also has a front-row centre seat, offering seating for six.

If you’re more eco-minded, there will be a Defender for you soon. This year will see the marque launch a plug-in hybrid variant.

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

Land Rover specialists Twisted plot new Silverstone showroom and more

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

Twisted Automotive, known for producing bespoke modified Land Rover Defenders, has announced plans for a new showroom in Silverstone. 

Aimed at potential customers in London and across the south of England, the new showroom will display a range of models from the company. 

It forms part of grand expansion aims, revealed by Twisted exactly four years to the day that Land Rover ceased production of the original Defender.

Journey south

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

At present, UK sales for Twisted’s products are dealt with from the company’s headquarters in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Whilst this may suit the rural image of a Twisted Land Rover, it does mean southern customers face a considerable journey to view products.

Based at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, the location for the new showroom has been chosen to be only 30 minutes by train, or an hour by car, from central London. 

Set to open in March 2020, the Silverstone showroom will offer test drives, servicing for existing customers, and also host the Twisted Cafe. 

Team America is ready

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

Last year saw Twisted announce an enhanced American division, located in South Boston, Virginia. Creating vehicles especially for American buyers, Twisted’s NA-specification Defenders use supercharged Chevrolet V8 engines with 650 horsepower.

The company has already finished its first North American-spec Defender, a short-wheelbase 90 model, which features air conditioning, electric windows, and central locking in the left-hand drive vehicles. 

An accompanying Defender 110 is now being prepared, with Twisted planning to show both models at the New York International Auto Show in April. Prices for the American models begin at a considerable $250,000 (£192,000).

Global expansion continues

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

Following on from the North American outpost will be a brand-new Twisted Middle East venture, set to open later in 2020 at a facility in Dubai.

Primarily aimed at appealing to off-road enthusiasts across the United Arab Emirates, Twisted notes that the company has previously sold vehicles to customers in Qatar, the UAE, Oman, and Kuwait.

The Twisted Middle East showroom and service centre will be managed by Matt Duckett, who recently joined the company from Jaguar Land Rover. Duckett’s previous roles included engineering the stunt vehicles used in the forthcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.

Remaking history in Yorkshire

Twisted Automotive 2020 Expansion Plans

Twisted has also finished building the first of a planned limited edition Lightweight Defender, inspired by Land Rovers used by the British Army between 1968 and 1984. 

Painted in Twisted’s own Willow Green, and with a canvas roof, the Lightweight also gains double bumpers and half-height doors. Built from low-mileage stock, the full run of ten examples is scheduled to be completed by summer 2020.

Speaking about the continuing expansion plans, Twisted founder Charles Fawcett  commented that it “illustrates the enduring passion” for the classic Defender, and that the company remains a guardian “of the heritage of this British icon”.

3D-printed RoboYogi

Jaguar Land Rover’s 3D-printed dog paw helps make cars hound-proof

3D-printed RoboYogi

Dog owners, rejoice: Jaguar Land Rover has developed a new piece of technology so its engineers can make its cars more durable and dog-proof.

A 3D-printed dog paw has been created, to replicate in the test lab a dog’s claws scratching the bumper and paint before and after walks.

Thanks to the robotic dog paw test, Land Rover is able to confirm the new Defender is able to resist more than a decade of use by dogs.

Yogi the Labrador

Yogi the Labrador, from the National Guide Dog Breeding Centre, was test dog for the project. Their paw was modelled and a 3D-printed, spring-loaded replica was created.

The engineers called this RoboYogi.

Cleverly, the use of springs meant the robo-claws can follow car design contours and evenly apply pressure across the bumper. Just like a real dog.

Yogi was then tasked with jumping in and out of the new Defender’s boot; engineers recorded their steps with pressure-mapping technology.

This data was used to correlate Yogi’s 3D-printed paw to their real one.

New Land Rover Defender

JLR’s new standard test involves 5,000 cycles of RoboYogi randomly scratching the panel 10 times, followed by a linear sideway scratch. Senior engineer Julie Nicholls admitted it’s a bespoke test that’s a little different to the norm.

“Creating globally renowned vehicles means applying a quality mindset at every stage of a product’s lifecycle to ensure we meet the needs of our customers’ lifestyles. In this case we were able to achieve it by getting a dog, printing a paw and using a robot.”

The paw was produced by the JLR Additive Manufacturing Centre, which now produces more than 80,000 parts a year, largely for prototyping and design mock-ups.

The division does actually also produce 3D-printed parts for production cars, with the extreme Jaguar XE SV Project 8 among the first to use parts from the centre.