Saturday, February 16, 2008

The New Land Rover LRX

Land Rover's acclaimed LRX concept cross-coupe will make its European debut in Geneva at the 78e Salon International de l'Auto (March 6-16, 2008), alongside the global debut of the Defender SVX special edition, launched to mark Land Rover's 60th anniversary this year.

"The LRX diesel hybrid signals our ability to deliver Land Rover's core values in a more compact and fuel efficient package. For now, LRX remains a concept, designed to gauge public reaction, but the enthusiasm generated since we first unveiled it in January makes me even more certain that this would be a hugely exciting direction for us to take," says Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director.

More immediately, the company is marking its 60th anniversary with the special edition Defender SVX model, which goes on sale this spring. The iconic Defender still bears a strong visual resemblance to its 1948 predecessor, but inside the SVX models boast satellite navigation, Recaro seats and iPod compatibility.

Land Rover LRX concept

The LRX diesel hybrid concept represents a bold evolution of Land Rover design that signals the brand’s shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true to its core values, such as breadth of capability. The three-door LRX, with its compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies, addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions, equivalent to fuel economy of 60 mpg on a European combined drive cycle.

Though shorter and lower than the Freelander 2, the LRX is a premium cross-coupĂ©, designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive sector – those who want many of the benefits of a 4x4 and the presence of a larger vehicle, but in a more compact package.

The first all-new Land Rover revealed since Gerry McGovern became the company’s design director, LRX is a natural extension of the Land Rover range, complementing the existing models and helping to define a new segment. Its many recognisable Land Rover design cues include bold new interpretations of the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof and the solid ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ stance.

LRX is conceived as a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-litre turbodiesel hybrid. In combination with other Land Rover technologies, this powertrain could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30% compared with other 4x4s of comparable size. It incorporates an Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) which would allow the LRX to use electric drive alone at lower speeds while retaining full (even improved) 4x4 ability in tough conditions.

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