As one of the best 4×4 vehicles manufacturers in the world, Land Rover has a long-standing association with the military.  Versatility, robustness and performance are apt adjectives to use when describing any Land Rover.  So it was not surprising when, in January 1996, after extensive and rigorous tests, the British government announced the purchase of approximately 8,000 of the new Land Rover Wolf Defender XD 4×4 vehicle.  The order was worth nearly £170 million.

Land Rover XD Wolf 1997
Land Rover XD Wolf 1997

The Land Rover Wolf

Two variants of the Land Rover Wolf were manufactured; the Wolf 90 and the Wolf 110.  The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) designated the Wolf 90 as Truck Utility Light (TUL) HS and the Wolf 110 as Truck Utility Medium (TUM) HS.  HS refers to High Specification, which Land Rover called XD (eXtra Duty).

Due to the military use, the design of the Land Rover Wolf is far stronger and more reliable than the original Land Rover Defender.  The MoD worked closely with Land Rover to develop a vehicle suitable for operating in the harshest conditions.

The final Land Rover Wolf is unique in many ways.  Following the MoD tests, several changes were made to the original design including:

  • Stronger rear axle;
  • Fibreglass roof;
  • Side mounted spare wheel;
  • Bespoke chassis;
  • Steering guard (for improved cross-country capability);
  • 24-volt electrics;

Land Rover Wolf Specifications

The Land Rover Wolf weighs over 2 tonnes, is 4.55m long, 1.79m wide and 2.03m high.  The vehicle is powered by a 300Tdi 111 hp (83kW) engine.


Land Rover XD Wolf 1997 gauges
Land Rover XD Wolf 1997 gauges

As with most Land Rovers prior to 2000, all the instrumentation was designed and built in the UK by SMITHS Instruments.  The Land Rover Wolf featured:

  • Fuel gauge;
  • Oil temperature gauge;
  • Speedometer with trip counter and ODO;

Although the Land Rover Wolf was marketed to other countries, the high specification and subsequent cost was too high.

The Land Rover Wolf 4×4 vehicles have been at the fore of military action around the world.  The vehicle was a common sight in news reports on the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Presently, the MoD is gradually removing the Wolf 90 from service, but the Wolf 110 continues to play an important role.

SMITHS gauges for classic Land Rover 4×4 vehicles continue to be manufactured at the Caerbont Automotive Instruments facility near Swansea in South Wales.

For more information on SMITHS gauges for classic Land Rover, please contact us on:

Via the website

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  +44 (0) 1639 732200

Photographs taken by Paul Fears Photography

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