New Model News

Land Rover revives Defender Hard Top for new generation

The Land Rover Defender Hard Top is designed to help with fleet tasks.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender is once again getting the commercial vehicle treatment. The company will restore the Hard Top name to its lineup for versions of the Defender 90 and 100 later this year. The Hard Top are dates back to 1950 the the introduction of demountable Hard Tops gave early Series Land Rovers added security and protection from the elements.

The new model is slated to be as tough as the traditional Defender, which offers 4x4 capability beneath its technologically advanced yet ruggedly styled body. It will share its fixed metal roof and silhouette with the iconic original.

2021 Land Rover Defender Hard Top The Defender Hard Top revives a name first introduced 70 years ago.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"We will maximize 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.

Both Hard Top models will feature an independent coil-sprung suspension with an advanced electronic air suspension available on the 110 model. Both the 90 and 110 will have off-road chops - a 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). Full technical details will be confirmed later this year.

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

2021 Land Rover Defender Hard Top Land Rover will carry over the Defender's traditional capability into the new model.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The models will have a towing capacity of 3,500 kg. Hard Top models haven no second- or third-row seats. A first-row jump seat will be available, which would bring up the seating capacity from two to three.

The interior of the models won't skimp on amenities, offering the same infotainment, safety, and driver assist technology as the traditional Defender.

Fleet owners can use the Remote smartphone app to track of the location, fuel level and journey history of their vehicle remotely, for ultimate peace of mind and security.

Land Rover is pricing the model from £35,500 (plus VAT) in the UK. Additional information will be available later this year.

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Vonlane typically runs luxury bus service to multiple high-priority locations in Texas and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Vonlane

Texas-based luxury bus company Vonlane is back on the road following the winter storm, offering limited routes to travelers among Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

"Upon conducting road tests around the state, we are confident that we can now deliver our normal exceptional travel experience," the Dallas-based company said in a February 19 email to customers.

A quick check of the schedule online shows it's possible to book one-way and roundtrip travel from the Houston Downtown Hyatt Regency to Dallas Doubletree at Love Field or the Austin Hyatt Regency, beginning Friday, February 19.

Rates are $105 each way.

Routes to and from Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City are not yet available.

Vonlane buses are operating with a number of COVID-19 protocols, including blocked seats for social distancing. Face masks and temperature checks are required.

Vonlane launched its high-end bus service in 2014 to cater to business travelers. Each bus, which holds fewer than two dozen passengers, features amenities like WiFi, satellite TV and radio, snack and drink service, and leather seats.

Reservations can be booked online, and may be canceled and fully refunded up to 24 hours before departure.


The original version of this story can be found on AutomotiveMap's sister site, CultureMap.

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The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 comes to a dealership near you later this quarter.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is the V8-powered Wrangler y'all have been asking for. Now we know how much 470 horsepower under the hood will cost you - $73,500 - and that's before taxes, fees, and any dealership markup.

With typical Wrangler Rubicon looks on the outside, the Rubicon 392's big selling point is its engine. The 6.4-liter V8 can get from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep is equipping the Rubicon 392 with a 21.5-gallon fuel tank to help with the thirsty engine's range. To save on fuel, the Rubicon 392 uses cylinder deactivation to switch into four-cylinder mode when the V8 isn't needed.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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The noise out back is courtesy of a two-mode performance exhaust. A functional air scoop feeds the engine and keeps it cool.

All that power requires a stronger frame than the typical Wrangler has. It gets upgraded frame rails, improved cast-iron steering knuckles, and beefier front upper control arms. Stopping power comes from the SUV's larger-than-usual brakes - the Rubicon 392 has 14-inch rotors instead of the Rubicon's typical 13.4-inchers. A 2.0-inch lift is standard.

Jeep has given the model an Off-Road Plus button that lets you lock the rear of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 while it's in four-wheel drive high gear. This functionality will prove especially helpful to desert trekking enthusiasts who get slippery sand under the tires but have to keep up their forward motion so they don't sink and get stuck.

It's also Moab-ready. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 doesn't have the Rock-Trac transfer case that's in the typical Rubicon, but it makes up for it with the availability of low-end torque courtesy of the new V8. Add in the standard Select-Trac transfer case, locking rear differentials, and front sway bar disconnect and adventuring on rocks just became more manageable.

The entire rig rides on 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires that sit at all four corners one 17-inch beadlock-capable tires.

Jeep has given the SUV 11 features that are normally options on Wrangler, nine color choices for buyers to pick from, and bronze colored accents. At the center of the dashboard is an n8.4-inch infotainment screen that allows Jeep Off-Road Pages to be viewed.

Mopar will offer factory-based accessories with the model.

The new Jeep is expected to arrive at dealerships in the first quarter of this year.

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