Land Rover developing a baby SUV

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 10, 2013

Land Rover is thinking about producing a baby SUV. It will be offered around the world and will turn the brand into a premium contender in a market niche that is believed to soon shoot up in popularity. John Edwards, global brand director of Land Rover, said that the company’s product planners are reviewing this model.

According to Autocar he said that he is confident that a sub-compact SUV will succeed in all markets. But he warned that he hasn’t yet seen a persuasive proposition for the new model. If it gets approved, the new Land Rover is believed to have a length of about four metres (30cm shorter than the current Evoque).

According to several sources, it will be based on a bespoke platform that’s expected to be shared with Tata, Jaguar Land Rover’s Indian owner, and Chery, its new Chinese partner. According to Indian sources, Tata engineers are the innovators of the work done on a new lineup of diesel and petrol engines with sizes of 1.4 and 1.6 litres, which may be found in the baby SUV.

Jaguar could also use the 1.6. The baby Land Rover is believed to have a starting price of £18,000. This places it at the top end of the segment, making it costlier than the Mini Countryman and positioning it below the next-generation Freelander, which will probably have a starting price of £23,000.

The entry models will probably be front-wheel drive. It’s expected that the styling of the baby Land Rover is an advanced development of the theme introduced by the DC100 concept cars. It will take inspiration from the all-new Defender, which has already gotten approval for production.

Both the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts come with terrific proportions, which are emphasized by their four-square stance, Command driving position, short front and rear overhangs, and superior ground clearance. Their exteriors are defined by strength and simplicity, as augmented by a strong shoulder running across their full length. On the other hand, the interior of the Defender concepts are carefully designed to exude the typical Land Rover feel.

The interior is defined with low center console and strong chamfers on the instrument panel that smoothly integrate into the A-pillar structure – thereby resulting to a strong sense of open space. Moreover, the interior of these concepts has been developed to be flexible. For instance, the central instruments are now removable, which means they could be used outside. While the DC100 is an embodiment of toughness and durability, the DC100 Sport takes these attributes to another level and caters to another set of customers who seek a sporty version of the Defender.

Land Rover intends these two Defender concepts to explore a design language that would bring the openness, honesty and simplicity of the original model and reinterpret them to cater to the needs and wants of their modern target customers. Both the DC100 and DC100 Sports are underpinned by the same platform that boasts of advanced mixed-alloys and a 100-inch wheelbase -- indicating the flexibility of this architecture.

Ensuring that these new concepts are able to optimize the power from their engines for on and off-road driving, they are specified with an eight-speed transmission with integrated Intelligent Stop/Start and a transfer case that could provide a wide spread of high and low ratios. Likewise, both the DC100 and the DC100 Sport are gifted with Land Rover's generation Terrain Response system that could help detect potential hazards and then suggest safe routes. Likewise, these Defender concepts come with an advanced telematics program that unifies all systems and allows vehicle-to-smartphone communication.

Topics: land rover, suv

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