There are some changes from the ’08 Detroit Show concept – most notably that it will move upscale and wear a Range Rover badge – but the futuristic LRX is coming soon to a dealer near you!
Evidently, the British Government loved the LRX concept so much it is providing a $37.1 million grant to get it into production. (That, and the fact that the UK car industry needs help desperately!) That, of course, only scratches the surface of the estimated $550 million the vehicle’s overall production budget will cost, but it is enough to make it happen.
That certainly got everyone at Land Rover talking, and the first thing they discussed was where to put it. Calling it a Land Rover seemed too off-roadish, given that it will fall squarely amidst Audi’s Q5, BMW’s X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK.
"Internal studies have shown that if we deliver the LRX to market, it would be best suited to the Range Rover brand," Land Rover boss Phil Popham said.
Other changes, industry rumors say, will be a re-working of the two-door body to incorporate a set of conventionally hinged rear doors. The shallow backlight and plunging roofline have reportedly also been altered to increase interior room, most notably rear-seat headroom. The group also tossed around the idea of offering the compact SUV in both a two-wheel-drive and 4X4 version, but has opted to go with the four-by option exclusively.
The production version of the LRX is planned to share much of its chassis with the Land Rover Freelander and the Volvo XC60--the two vehicles that were conceived and developed basically as twins when Land Rover and Volvo were part of Ford's disbanded Premier Automotive Group.
Dealer date is yet to be determined, but is likely to happen sooner rather than later, as the LRX represents nothing short of the new face of Range Rover. Production of the LRX will take place at Land Rover's Halewood facility in England, as laid out in conditions relating to the government loan, so everyone will be happy.
Most of all, those panting to get behind the wheel.
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