2008 Land Rover LRX Concept
|2 liter diesel inline-4 hybrid||
(from Land Rover
Press Release) Land Rover unveiled a vision of its future
today at the North American International Auto Show (Detroit Auto
Show) with the world debut of the LRX hybrid concept - a bold
evolution of Land Rover design that indicates the brands
progressive shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true
to its core values. As the company prepares to celebrate its 60th
anniversary during 2008, the three-door LRX, with its more compact
size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies,
clearly addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the
potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions.
The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles, says Phil Popham, Land Rovers managing director. LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but its a very different Land Rover.
LRX has unmistakable Land Rover design and the breadth of capability that youd expect from our vehicles. But it carries those essentials into a segment where the brand has never been before, and with a proposed level of efficiency that would make it one of the cleanest vehicles in its class. It is Land Rovers way of affirming the brands responsible approach to future product development. At this stage, LRX is purely a concept, designed to help us develop our thinking as well as gauge customer reaction but this feels like a hugely exciting direction to take.
COMPACT AND PREMIUM
LRX is described as a
cross-coup and dramatically extends the scope of what Land Rover
represents. Though 5.9 in (149 mm) shorter than the LR2/Freelander 2
and 8.1 in (205 mm) lower, LRX was conceived as a premium vehicle,
designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive
sector those who want many of the benefits of an SUV 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 companys 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 recognizable 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 a design born out of passion for the brand, but it is different, relevant, engaging and exciting because Land Rover has never built ordinary vehicles says Gerry McGovern. LRX has a highly desirable identity and the design alludes strongly to its capability, while clearly underlining our forward-looking philosophy its a Land Rover that would be comfortable on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, but wouldnt flinch at getting its wheels dirty.
Its compact size is one of its greatest assets, which will appeal to anyone who wants the versatile ability of an agile SUV with the cachet of the Land Rover name. In addition, its lower weight and the reduced aerodynamic drag resulting from the smaller frontal area would help give significant gains in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.
HIGHLY EFFICIENT POWERTRAIN
LRX is conceived as a
highly fuel-efficient, U.S. Federal-specification, 2.0-liter,
turbodiesel hybrid, capable of running on bio-diesel. In combination
with other Land Rover technologies, this powertrain could reduce
fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent compared with other SUVs
of comparable size, and reduce emissions to approximately 120 g/km.
LRXs improved efficiencies are the result of advanced mechanical and electrical energy-saving elements, which are combined to achieve cumulative gains in many areas.
The concepts integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) is particularly significant in Land Rover terms as it would allow LRX to use electric drive alone at lower speeds while retaining full (even improved) sport utility ability in tough conditions. Unlike the hybrid technology used by some SUV rivals, Land Rovers unique solution retains mechanical drive to all four wheels.
Off-road, the ERAD would provide additional torque only when it is needed, and with maximum electrical torque from standstill, this solution offers even better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away on difficult surfaces (such as packed snow or wet grass) or when towing.
On the road, the ERAD would allow low-speed traffic creep up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on electric power alone, with the Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG) function re-starting the engine automatically when needed. The electric drive would then continue to assist the mechanical drive until the engine is running in its most efficient range, benefiting both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The ISG would also stop the engine automatically when the vehicle halts in traffic, so the engine does not idle needlessly, and restart it quickly and smoothly as required.
The electrical drive system uses power stored in a dedicated high-voltage, high-capacity, lithium-ion battery pack, independent of the normal 12-volt battery. This is charged by a regenerative braking energy system, also working through the ERAD.
LRX also incorporates Hill Descent Control and Land Rovers acclaimed and user-friendly Terrain Response system, which optimizes vehicle drivability and comfort, as well as maximizing traction. On LRX, this has five modes, including the new and efficiency-focused Eco mode. Principally for on-road use, this configures all the integrated elements of the vehicles system for optimized fuel economy. The other four Terrain Response modes provided are sports (also new), general driving, sand and grass/gravel/snow (a single program for slippery surfaces).
EXTENDING BREADTH OF CAPABILITY
The positioning of LRX
could be described as moving subtly from traditional SUV to
crossover, with its more car-like appearance and dynamics that are
sportier and on-road biased. But while its character is underlined
by excellent agility, handling and performance, LRX also promises
the widest breadth of capability in the class.
The design of LRX was developed entirely in-house by Gerry McGoverns team, driven by a passion to create a vehicle that truly represents Land Rovers future thinking. It has a very dynamic profile, with a distinctive taper to the floating roofline and a muscular shoulder running the length of the car, accentuated by the rising beltline. The glazing wraps right around LRX, with no exposed pillars, creating a bold design graphic. The architectural structure of the upper body can be glimpsed through the windows and roof echoing some of the best contemporary buildings.
Pushing the wheels out to the four corners helps give the car its purposeful stance, and its front-end design makes a powerful and instantly recognizable statement of Land Rovers identity. The carefully sculpted corners dramatically reduce the cars visual overhangs front and rear.
There are new interpretations of Land Rovers traditional clamshell bonnet, distinctive headlamps and perforated two-bar grille. The vehicle has jewel-like, tapering blade indicator clusters front and rear, and the wheel arches are wide but softly integrated, housing highly polished 20-inch alloy wheels.
The fine detailing includes additional polished aluminum in the form of side-strips, side and bonnet vents, and the exterior door releases, which are concealed in the vehicles shoulders. Graphic details such as these appear to be punched out of the smooth body surfaces rather than overlaid on them. The frosted white paint color was especially developed for LRX and its visual depth helps to highlight the vehicles form.
IMPECCABLE, PREMIUM INTERIOR
The interior of the LRX
concept clearly demonstrates how a compact Land Rover can still be
roomy, practical, versatile and sophisticated. The impeccably
executed cabin features a combination of soft leathers in rich tan
and dark chocolate, with polished aluminum details, while the
visible structures of the seats, instrument panel and roof
architecture not only give a highly distinctive look but also help
The fast sloping architecture of the center console reflects LRXs sporty dynamics, as does the distinctive binnacle over the instrument cluster. The electronic display uses floating LCD graphics to create a three-dimensional look that can be personalized for different drivers, as well as interacting with LRXs touch-screen display.
The instrument graphics present data in layers depending on their level of importance, to give maximum relevant information with minimum distraction. When appropriate, displayed information transfers between the main instrument cluster and the touch screen. Further adding to LRXs involving personality, different Terrain Response modes are matched by changes in the cabins background mood lighting color green in Eco, red in sports and blue in general driving and off-road modes.
CLEVER USE OF SPACE
Although LRX is compact,
clever use of space makes it impressively roomy, and many neat
design touches maximize its practicality. A second touch-screen area
gives a fully interactive display and control for LRXs iPhone
On either side of the horizontally-split, power-operated tailgate, removable and power-adjustable speakers include an iPod docking station. There is also a cooler box, plus a bottle chiller that can be clipped to the lowered tailgate. The tailgate also has integral aluminum cup holders between two padded seating areas, for a new twist on the idea of a traditional Land Rover tailgate lunch.
Every interior design detail combines to maximize both actual space and the feeling of space. The clear roof is supported by a spider frame running into the A-pillars, and the rear quarter pillars have glazed apertures for improved visibility and a lighter feel in the cabin.
LRXs distinctive seats float on individual plinths and have open frameworks to reinforce the impression of light, airy interior space while also creating useful under-seat and under-floor stowage areas. The clever, articulated mechanism of the powered seat backs maximizes interior flexibility and helps create a large, flat storage area when needed. With the rear seats folded forward, two mountain bikes can be fitted upright behind them, with front wheels removed and stored in dedicated slots in the floor. Alternatively, skis and surfboards can be accommodated in the generous load space, which has multiple tie-down options and a through-loading option.
Flexible load-carrying capacity is fundamental to the concept of LRX, says Gerry McGovern. With this car, weve interpreted the idea of Land Rover breadth of capability to be more about versatility and on-road dynamics than about ultimate off-roading. This meets the needs of the new customers that we believe would be attracted by this type of vehicle; they will not only appreciate LRXs flexibility, but will also recognize that it has been packaged with the highest levels of precision.
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT DESIGN
The exposed structures
of the seats, roof and instrument panel are just one novel approach
that Land Rovers designers have taken to reduce vehicle weight.
Another example is replacing the glass for the side windows and roof
with polycarbonate from SABIC Innovative Plastics, which is around
40 percent lighter. The polycarbonate also blocks virtually all UV
light (protecting interior materials from fading), while special
nano-technology within the material reduces infra-red transmission,
helping to keep the interior cool.
Even the choice of premium-quality trim materials reflects Land Rovers deep thinking about sustainability, with vegetable-tanned leather (chromium-free, so better for recycling), extensive use of aluminum (both lightweight and readily recyclable) and carpeting made of felt from sustainable sources. And the luxurious, vanilla-colored fine suede on the door inserts and headliner is a 100% recycled material made from used plastic bottles and fibers.
We are determined to make sustainability a key element in our future product design and the way we do business, while still creating vehicles that have a strong emotional appeal as well as fulfilling peoples practical needs, says Phil Popham. No single technology delivers all the answers to whole-life sustainability, but the LRX concept brings together some of the ideas for the future that interest us, integrating them into a car that we believe represents an exciting way forward for Land Rover.