Land Rover has marketed its all-new Defender as the rugged, go-anywhere, SUV and now you can sleep overnight wherever you plan to take it.
The carmaker has co-developed a bespoke roof tent for the new Defender 110 model – which starts from £45,240 – that pops out of a roof box and can sleep two adults.
However, it isn’t cheap. Given that you can buy a two-man tent from outdoor retailers for as little as £15, the near-£3,500 asking price for the Defender tent does seem incredibly steep.
Sleeper SUV: Customers can now order a roof tent for their Land Rover Defender, which sleeps up to two adults
The tent roof box has been created in conjunction with specialist firm Autohome and is designed for ‘short overnight camping trips or lengthy overland expeditions in complete comfort’.
It’s been launched at the ideal time, as Britons are being left with few options other than to holiday in Britain while Covid-19 travel restrictions are in place.
The tent is housed in a lightweight fiberglass shell when not in use, which is aerodynamically shaped so as to not create a drag on the Defender that shouldn’t reduce the 4X4’s fuel efficiency.
The tent itself can be erected single-handedly in seconds by unclipping the fastening at the rear to allow the integral gas struts to pop the structure out. When erected, it measures 2.3 meters long, 1.3 meters wide, and 1.5 meters high.
The tent sleeps two adults on a full-size luxury cotton mattress and comes with pillows, an interior LED light, and a stowage net.
The tent is stored in a fiberglass shell that bolts onto the roof rack. Owners simply unclip the fastenings and the tent pops up on gas struts
While the advertising pictures show the tent with a family of two adults and two children, it is only designed to take two adults at a time
The ladder to help owners get in and out of the roof tent is included and stored in the fiberglass shell with the tent when on the move
The tent can be accessed from either side of the vehicle and comes with an extendable aluminum access ladder that is also stored in the roof box when on the move.
Joe Sinclair, Land Rover director of branded goods and licensing, said: ‘It is the ideal vehicle to reach remote destinations comfortably both on and off road.
‘This roof tent will enable Defender drivers to continue their adventure above and beyond their journey; it’s perfect for the modern-day explorer.’
Giuseppe Fercodini, chief executive of Autohome, added: ‘This tent is much more than a campsite accessory: its strength, comfort, versatility, and reliability make it ideal for extreme camping and off-road holidays.
When erected, the tent itself measures 2.3 meters long, 1.3 meters wide and 1.5 meters high – more than enough space and more headroom than most small conventional tents
The tent also features a full-size luxury cotton mattress and comes with pillows, an interior LED light, and a stowage net
Summer staycation solution: With many Britons now considering holidaying in the UK, camping equipment is likely to be in big demand in 2020
Land Rover has pinned its hopes on the reborn Defender hauling it out of financial woe.
A significant fall in demand for diesel cars has hammered sales of the brand’s big 4X4s in recent years, and the additional global body blow of the coronavirus in 2020 has delivered another setback.
The luxury car maker – which is owned by Indian corporation Tata – recently announced it fell to a £ 501 million loss in the fourth quarter, with the company reporting a pre-tax loss for the year of £ 422 million on revenue of £ 23 billion.
The success of the Defender will play a huge part in Land Rover’s recovery, and a range of over 170 optional accessories to ramp up prices is expected to be popular among buyers.
When the tent isn’t in use, it collapses into this neat shell made out of lightweight fiberglass material
The shape of the roof box is designed so that it’s aerodynamic so it doesn’t reduce the fuel efficiency of the go-anywhere SUV
Land Rover has pinned its hopes on the reborn Defender hauling it out of financial woe, and a range of 170 extra features to boost prices are expected to be popular when cars are ordered
On top of the asking price of £45,240 for the Defender 110 (the smaller three-door Defender 90 starts from £40,290), customers can also purchase extra features including an electric winch, inflatable waterproof awning, and bespoke air-intake snorkel – all of which are designed to add to the Defender’s iconic hardcore appeal.
The roof tent is another one of these features, but does come with an incredibly high asking price of €3,081.96 before tax. That means the price for UK customers will be around £3,335 including VAT.
Outdoor and leisure retailers including Blacks, Millets, and Argos will sell you a two-man tent for as little as £16 to £20, meaning the specialist Defender tent is 208 times as expensive – although doesn’t come with a mattress or LED lights.
Both Blacks and Millets are selling this Eurohike two-adult tent for £16 at the moment. That’s 208 times cheaper than the Land Rover Defender roof tent
Argos is also selling smaller traditional tents for just under £20. It does make the £3,335 asking price for the Land Rover product appear very steep indeed
On top of the asking price of £45,240 for the Defender 110 (the smaller three-door Defender 90 starts from £40,290), customers can also purchase extra features including an electric winch, inflatable waterproof awning, and bespoke air-intake snorkel – all of which are designed to add to the Defender’s iconic hardcore appeal
Land Rover isn’t the first car maker to launch a roof tent. In 2017, Mini announced you could buy this two-person tent for the Countryman model
Like the Defender roof tent, it stores in a lightweight and aerodynamically-shaped roof box when owners are on the move
Land Rover isn’t the first brand to sell a roof tent with one of its models. Mini launched a similar product for its Countryman SUV three years ago, which is a £2,400 optional extra.
And you don’t need to buy these products from car makers specifically.
A number of manufacturers offer car roof tents, which retail for anywhere between £750 and £2,000, with the premium products featuring fiberglass casings like the Land Rover and Autohome version.
With staycations becoming increasingly popular following the coronavirus pandemic, a roof tent isn’t what you’d call cheap but is a budget-friendly alternative to a new campervan, which will cost in the region of £50,000.
You can read our report of five new campers on sale today – and other options including the Opus Off-Road camping trailer.
Planning to staycation for a few years? This is Money has detailed five brand new campervans you can buy in the UK right now – and exclusively revealed the Opus Off-Road camping trailer (round inset), which costs less than half of the vehicles seen here
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