Land Rover LRX Hybrid Concept



    DETROIT, Jan. 13 /CNW/ -- 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.  The LRX is a bold evolution of
Land Rover design that indicates the brand's 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.
    LRX is a cross-coupe and dramatically extends the scope of what Land
Rover represents. 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.
    "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 Rover's managing
director. "LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it's a very different
Land Rover. 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."
    LRX is conceived as being powered by a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel engine,
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, as well as reduce
emissions.
    The concept's integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) 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 Rover's 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.  On the road, the ERAD would allow low-speed traffic creep up to 20
mph 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. 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.
    LRX also incorporates Hill Descent Control and Land Rover's acclaimed and
user-friendly Terrain Response system.  In the LRX, Terrain Response adds a
special "Eco" mode, for optimal economy, to the standard modes found on all
other Land Rover vehicles.
    The design of LRX was developed entirely in-house by Design Director
Gerry McGovern's team, driven by a passion to create a vehicle that truly
represents Land Rover's future thinking. Inside, LRX's 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.  To reduce overall vehicle weight,
the glass for the side windows and roof were replaced with polycarbonate from
SABIC Innovative Plastics, which is around 40 percent lighter, yet still
strong and scratch-resistant.
    Even the choice of premium-quality trim materials reflects Land Rover's
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 people's practical
needs," adds 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."




For further information:

For further information: Deborah Sandford, Communications and Public 
Affairs Manager, +1-949-341-6184, dsandfor@landrover.com, or Nicole Marshall, 
Communications Officer, +1-949-341-6809, Nmarsh15@landrover.com, both of Land 
Rover North America, or Barbara Barrett, Communications Manager, of Land Rover
 Canada, +1-613-230-2639, Bbarret7@ford.com

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