Not one to miss a leap onto the "green" bandwagon, Land Rover will debut the new 3-door LRX, the smallest and greenest Land Rover ever, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January ’08.
"We are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles," said Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director.
The vehicle platform has been built under the 'Land_e' technology design approach that the company released details about last year as their burgeoning 'eco-design' strategy for new vehicles.
How so? Little things like lower weight (the side and roof glass has been replaced with polycarbonate, which is around 40 percent lighter than traditional glass) and reduced aerodynamic drag to improve fuel efficiency and reduce C02 emissions.
An interior that features vegetable-tanned leather that is chromium-free, lots of lightweight and recyclable aluminum, carpeting made of felt from sustainable sources, suede door inserts and headliner made from used plastic bottles, and – get this – an integrated iPhone dock that even becomes the push button start of the vehicle.
OK. That last one wasn’t necessarily green, but it could be cool. At least until the iPhone gets a new shape and no longer fits into the docking space. But keep in mind, this is still in the conceptual stage, so everything is still being considered.
What’s not changing is its Land Rover heritage. The LRX will be equipped with full-time, four-wheel drive; hill descent control, and a special version of Land Rover's terrain response system that adjusts traction based on various surfaces from icy roads to wet grass, gravel and snow. In keeping with its car-based platform, the LRX is tweaking its terrain response to include a new 'Eco' mode for lower emission urban driving.
The vehicle will feature the latest diesel/electric hybrid engine with the latest technology to slash C02 emissions and return 40mpg when it goes on sale in 2010. More information to come after debut at the show next month...
Land Rover officials say the LRX proves you can be clean and green, but still get your wheels dirty. That may prove to be a slightly different bandwagon altogether.
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