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New Land Rover Concept Model News

With Land Rover undergoing somewhat of a revolution there is a lot of speculation and activity about new Land Rovers and concept Land Rovers. Some speculation is accurate and some is way off. But it makes for interesting reading.

Well here we go again. The new Land Rover Defender 2007 has barely hit the streets after years of speculation as to how, where and why it will continue. This time the story goes that the deadline is 2013. In 2004 the story went that the Defender was being re-devloped to enter the American market in 2007 and 2008. Well here we are and that has not happened, the vehicle is not for sale in the US. Thankfully for some, the Defender continues on. in more or less its standard form.

The burning question is, what would it look like and will it be better or worse, than what we have now. The most passionate Land Rover Owners, and probably motorcar owners, are the Defender drivers. They drive the vehicle because it is so functional. It doesn't have bells and whistles, comfort, 21st century design, or composite materials and that's why they like it.

Looking at a recent article that appeared on automobilemag.com the future for the Defender does not look so rosy. They maintain that it cannot fit in with the future strategy of the Land Rover Group. It is written from an American perspective which is interesting. It kind of makes sense. Why would Land Rover re-design the Defender to compete in the US market when it hasn't been there for such a long time. Read the details of the aluminum-based future for Land Rover, according to some long-range product planners at the Premier Automotive Group.

Autoweek had this view: When will we get a Defender? Maybe in 2013

Sales in the United States will be critical for the Defender replacement, which is scheduled for 2013 in Land Rover’s future product plan. To justify the investment, Land Rover reckons it must double yearly sales of 25,000 to more than 50,000. It can count on new markets such as Russia, China and India for some of that increase, but the United States will be the key.

Front and side airbags will be a prerequisite, and so will an all-new chassis, because today’s simple setup won’t allow airbag integration.

Land Rover can’t look to its own technology, either. It admits that the platform under the LR3 and the Range Rover Sport is too expensive for a vehicle that needs to list from about $40,000 in the United Kingdom (that figure includes a heavy dose of taxes).

One possibility is for the next Defender to share development with Ford Europe’s Transit truck, which offers flexibility of construction, a huge variety of body styles and toughness closer to the Defender than Land Rover’s other upmarket models.

Autocar.co.uk ran the title: Defender will Soldier on till 2013

The all-new replacement for the Land Rover Defender is scheduled for launch in 2013, only the fifth time in 60 years that the iconic model has been renewed by the company.

Land Rover is currently in the exploratory stages for the new Defender with design, engineering and marketing teams looking at the early engineering and business case for the new car.

The significant date, six years away, is critical because of future emissions standards, rather than crash legislation. Land Rover is confident it can get the revised 2007 Defender, a revamp of a car whose lineage goes back to 1983, through the next phase of pedestrian-impact legislation in 2010.

What is known about the new Defender is that it will retain rugged go-anywhere durability and the styling will be an evolution of today’s look, influenced by design director Gerry McGovern’s new ‘premium adventure’ styling theme.

It is already clear that the business case must revolve around a hefty rise in annual sales, from today’s 25,000 to closer to 50,000 units.

That rise will come from extra sales in new markets like Russia, China and Asia, but more significantly North America, where airbag legislation killed the current model in the late 1990s.

It is also clear that the new Defender will be built on a dedicated platform. Land Rover could share componentry with the ‘integrated bodyframe’ structure from the Discovery, but sources confirm it’s too costly to underpin a utility model.

A key issue is whether a future Defender needs to be offered with today’s range of around 170 different variants such as tipper trucks and fire engines.

Both of these sources had the same author, Julian Rendell

Land Rover DC100 and DC100 Sport

 

Hybrid Land Rover due to arrive in 2007

reported by Autocar.co.uk

The next major step in Land Rover's bid to become more environmentally friendly will be here within seven months.

The Solihull-based company already employs specialist hybrid-electric technicians and previewed hybrid technology in the Land-E concept at Geneva 2006. This year it will present a more advanced evolution of the Land-E's system in a driveable prototype.

A number of targets must be achieved by the hybrid system for it to be worth mass-producing. Primarily, it must be applicable to the entire Land Rover range including the Range Rover, and must produce a 30 per cent improvement in economy without compromising the car’s off-road abilities. It would also have to produce less than 150g/km of CO2 in a Freelander-sized vehicle.

In order to achieve that, the technology will centre around an integrated electric rear axle, which allows all four wheels to be powered by electricity alone –essential to maintaining Land Rover's benchmark off-road capabilities.

Weight is also a key factor to the next generation of Land Rovers. For example, the next-generation Range Rover will utilise a lighter, aluminium body to reduce CO2 emissions (read the story here).

Teaming this lightweight body with the hybrid drivetrain would achieve the necessary increase in economy and reduction in CO2 emissions that Land Rover requires, but production costs would be large. This may mean that using both aluminium and hybrid technology together would only be applicable in top-end models.

Either way, we look forward to getting behind the wheel of the hybrid Land Rover later in 2007. When we do, you’ll be the first to know.

 

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