Land Rover Announces First-Ever Front-Wheel Drive and Hybrid Models
Production 2011 Land Rover LRX rendering – Click above to enlarge
When you think of Land Rover, it's likely that scenes of bushwacking and overland travels spring to mind, and perhaps more recently, some of the most luxurious sport utility vehicles in the world. But the times, they are a'changing, and Land Rover needs to improve the efficiency of its brand of vehicles just the same as every other automaker the world over.
Hence, it should probably come as little surprise that the famous British marque has announced both its first-ever front-wheel drive model and its first-ever production hybrid. It remains to be seen whether or not the automaker is able to bake any off-road capabilities into its upcoming small Range Rover, which most of the world knows as the LRX.
Land Rover says the front-wheel-drive compact Range Rover will go on sale in 2011 and claims it will be the lightest and most fuel efficient vehicle the company has ever offered. Following two years later will be a hybrid version of the same vehicle that will pair a 3.0-liter diesel engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a large electric motor capable of powering the vehicle for 20 miles using no fossil fuels at all.
[Source: Land Rover]
LAND ROVER ANNOUNCES INTRODUCTION OF 2WD AND HYBRID TECHNOLOGY
Land Rover has announced that it will introduce a 2WD option (in addition to the 4WD derivative) for the new compact Range Rover. On sale in 2011, the 2WD vehicle will emit less than 130g/km of CO2 – making it the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever.
Jaguar Land Rover has committed to investing £800 million in developing environmental technologies and remains committed to developing vehicles with sustainable features which respond to customer demand.
Phil Popham, Land Rover managing director said: "Land Rover has announced that the all-new compact Range Rover will be available in 2WD. This is good news for the company and for our customers. A 2WD option is just one way in which we are developing our vehicles efficiency whilst adding to the Land Rover range and expanding our customer base. We will continue to make the 'world's finest all-terrain vehicles' for those customers who require 4WD but will also now offer an alternative to those that don't."
As part of the introduction of 2WD, Land Rover will be focussing on three main areas of technology to reduce the weight of Land Rover vehicles, reduce parasitic losses and increase powertrain efficiency. The use of hybrid technology is also part of the significant developments for the larger vehicles in the range. The first diesel hybrid will be available in 2012 and on the road in 2013.
By the end of 2010 Land Rover will be testing the first diesel hybrid prototype called the 'range_e' which is being developed using a Range Rover Sport platform. Tests of this vehicle will use the existing 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel engine featuring a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The goal is to achieve a range of 20 miles using electric power only emitting less than 100 g/km of CO2 emissions and to achieve a top speed of around 120mph.
Land Rover has over 60 years of experience developing supremely capable vehicles with pioneering technology such as Terrain Response. Land Rover sells its vehicles in over 160 countries world-wide and is constantly looking at the market place and developing vehicles that customers in all these markets want to buy.