Dutch firm Heritage Customs will offer what is believed to be the world’s first soft-top conversion of the current Defender 90. Only five examples of the Valiance Convertible will be built, available in three design schemes known as Côte d’Azur, Solihull Sand and Kokkini Paralia. Each variant features the company’s ‘Magic Metal’ set of interior and exterior highlights, as can be found on their existing Valiance models.
Only CGI renderings of the vehicles have been released so far, showing what is described as a ‘semi-electric’ hood. Unlike the previous Defender, which could be ordered as a soft-top from day one, the current L663 model has far fewer available body styles. The closest that Land Rover offer is the folding fabric roof panel, a £370 optional extra, in place of a sliding panoramic roof – and very nice it is too, although not quite the full convertible experience.
(Incidentally, Land Rover has discontinued the drop-top option for its only other recent convertible model, the convertible Range Rover Evoque.)
As for structural integrity, the Heritage Customs co-owner Niels van Roij has told LRO that his company is ‘making sure the car will remain strong and stiff by adding strengthening in the body and chassis. We're working with government organizations to make sure the car will reach or exceed their standards.’
Want one? You’ll need about £118k plus VAT. That puts it probably in the same ballpark as next year's top-of-the-range Range Rover SV (Land Rover hasn't released prices for that flagship of flagships yet).